This is 40

Moments that lingerI visited grandaunt tonight. She lay on the bed, her body slightly tilted. Her face was gaunt, eyes wide open. Every breath she took, she had to fight for. Nobody dared to move her, in case changing her position made her breathing even harder.

Mom said her organs have started to fail. Her kidneys do not process water anymore and even though her eyes were silently screaming, she couldn’t see us anymore and the only sound that escaped her lips were moans and gasps. She had not closed her eyes for two days, and could no longer absorb any nutrition.

I stayed with her for about an hour, and then I had to go out because I could not bear watching her suffer. I wondered why grandaunt, perhaps one of the most sinless person I know, had to suffer like this. I was angry that the doctors did not do anything to help her. I was bitter that I could only stare helplessly. And I cursed the cancer that wrecked her body.

I was unhappy today, that my 40th birthday was celebrated in a casual and perfunctory fashion. As the day grew older, I sulked even more. After all, it was the big Four Oh, right? Shouldn’t every man be treated a little more special today?

When I came out of the hospital, it was past midnight. I imagined that in some self-centered way, that she was God or Whoever’s way of giving me my reality check, of embarrassing me for my petty little grievances.

I appreciate the message, and I don’t sulk (so much now) but seriously, fuck the manner of delivery.

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