I received an sms from Charlene early Sunday morning which read:
Sandra has just left us...
I was shocked and though I was running late for lesson, I hurriedly snapped open my laptop to check her Facebook profile.
Her status read:
Sandra Liu back from the most amazing vaction!:D last Saturday
I thought to myself it can't be true that she'd left us. She just had an amazing vacation on Saturday! I commented two months back on her lovely family portrait. How could it be? Scrolling down all the comments of eulogy left on her page confirmed that it wasn't all a dream.
My mind became unsettled. I've got a lesson that morning which required full concentration but all I could think of was how she's no longer with us. I've grown to like her and her mum a lot during my short stay in NYC and Cynthia ofen speaks fondly of both mum and daughter.
Grappling with the fact that the cheerful 18/19 year old Taiwanese friend I know from NYC has left us, I can't help thinking how transient life is. Sandra was such a fighter and nobody could have guessed she was sick except for that cute little knitted cap on her head. She was always so positive and had the most amazng smile-- smiling from her heart, warming everyone around her even though she was in pain.
Sandra was suffering from a rare kind of cancer-- a double cancer in fact. Pre-cancer, Sandra was quite an achiever. She's been to a few countries for studies and courses and used to be a sports person. She's musically inclined as well. She is talented, intelligent, beautiful, sweet... My impession of her is really positive and I admire her zest in life. Even though she's almost a decade younger than me, I feel I've a lot to learn from her.
Even though we've only known each other during my short stay in NYC, I must say that I feel a connection to you and your mum. Your cheerful smile and disposition is truly inspiring and I often tell myself how amazing you are to be always constantly looking on the bright side and living life to the fullest. You're a great person to emulate and you'll always be in my heart.
Dear Auntie Fanny,
You're one of the most wonderful mother a child could ever wished for. Sandra left peacefully with her loving family by her side. She must be really happy to have seen all of you before moving safely into God's arm. Take good care of yourself.