By BENJAMIN YAU

At a certain point in our lives, there lived a moment where we would endure a moment of joy, an ecstatic joy, an inexplicable elation, a moment where words lose its significance to those escalating emotions, a moment where we have been awaiting for. For me, that moment of ecstasy is where I take my last breath and sight before falling into eternal slumber.

My heavy eyelids took like an eternity to be raised, and another eternity to accustom to the blinding morning rays that penetrated through the windows of my room. Fresh and invigorating crisp air couldn’t be instantly scent, as my deteriorating sense of smell, like my other senses, was failing me as each numbered days gone by. But soon, the boisterous chirping of the myna bird lured me to throw a blurry stare to the ever-magnificent view of the Titiwangsa Mountain Range. Instead of gasping in awe, I led out some hacking coughs that throw my lungs out, indicating the little time I could still tolerate with life’s last challenge.

A couple of knocking sound was heard from the door. With nearly all my strength, I spoke the commonest words “Come in” with a distorted tone and a weak voice. The door screeched open to reveal the visitor, which happens to be my personal caretaker and the person that I have devoted my sincere love since more than half a century ago and still kept to the devotion, and vowed to keep it until my last breath, which was going to take place soon. This person is none other than my loving wife, and she came in with a tray of scrumptious looking breakfast along with some medications. She sat on my side, slowly inserting spoons of warm and aromatic congee into my dry mouth. I looked at her occasionally, and she still looked ever-gorgeous and gracious, despite the cruelty of time and age had built countless crates and valleys on her once youthful face. Knowing that this might be our last rendezvous, I whispered to her in an undertone, to ask her consent to re-enact those loving and intimate moments that we did since half a century ago. She agreed and held her lips to meet mine. Passionately, we had our final kiss, and strangely, that kiss had as though gave me some energy as I felt more awake than the last few days I were on the same bed.

They say that the final few moments of one’s life would be exceptionally awake and energetic, and so I wondered: is that the premonition that is happening to me? Has the countdown timer started? Not long after she left, a phantasmagoria of mirage presented before my eyes. It looked familiar, it looked surreal, it looked rather recognisable. It was scenes of my past re-enacting before my death bed! All of those joyous moments, from childhood to teenage life, from being successful in career to having a family of myself and even carrying my first grandchild, all of those unspoken happiness, performed in a panorama of sepia images. Water gradually gushed out from my pair of old eyes, with each drop expressing gratefulness to the Lord and telling indescribable happiness.

All of a sudden, a strong gush of wind blew into the room swiftly, and took away the mirage and disapparated it in thin air. I looked towards the mountain range. It was a picture of the magnificent ball of fire firing its remaining rays while approaching the horizon, bringing this part of the world towards nightfall. A twilight scene at my twilight moments, I thought. Another series of knocking was faintly heard. With my rather drenched energy due to reliving the joy and excitation moments, I welcomed in. It was a delegation of my family members, heralded by my first son that came to visit me. They approached and surrounded my bed, looking solemn and lugubrious. Probably because of the grim and sad air filling the room, my youngest grandson broke into tears. I caressed his hair with my rough wrinkled hand, telling him that it’s nature’s law to have everything that begun to end. After pausing a few moments, I expressed, “You should know that I am proud of you for what you are today. Thank God I have lived to see this day, with no regrets,” Shortly, I led out a few more lengthy breaths.

Silence lurked in my room, but in my head, some familiar hymns were sounded. One of them was something like “This is the day the Lord hath made” which was used in a blissful ceremony to tie the knot with my beloved wife, and the last tune was a choir singing melodiously, signifying my last moment on Earth. It was “Amazing Grace”, beautifying all the gifts bestowed from the Lord above, praising the Lord above for His blessing to me throughout my 78 years of life. Finally, happiness took dominion over my body, and with bliss I led out my last breath and having my eyelids closed, for eternity. The moment I have been waiting for had arrived.

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