This morning, I dreamt of an old friend, May. In my dream, I was walking along some old shoplots (not sure where) when I saw May coming from opposite. She was carrying a large handbag by her side, like what she used to do. I stopped her and asked her “How have you been? I have not seen you for such a long time.” She told me she is alright. I began talking to her. Told her I really felt sad since she was gone as there was no one to talk to and gave me such good advise.
You see, May used to stay next to my house- she was 29 years my senior and someone I considered a mentor. She had been working in a multinational company all her life. From the time when I was a high school student having lots of ambitions and having problem motivating myself to study (can’t wait to come out to work), till finally a young worker started out in the coporate word, she would give me lots of encouragement and advise. We spent hours talking and discussion about working. She believed in working principles and ethnics- work hard, well and with a conscience.
May had never got married. She started working in the very same company all her working life. She rose from a clerk to a managerial position. Work was stressful as demands from overseas bosses were harsh. She devoted her to working and she was a very dedicated worker. Every day, she used to walk to and back to work, passing my house along the way.. carrying a large handbag, like the one I saw in the dream. She introduced my brother to work in her company when he was waiting for exam results. She was active in church and have many church friends.
Then, the bombshell came one day about 10 years ago… she was diagnosed with breast cancer. She faced the cancer bravely- got an operation to remove one breast, followed by chemotherapy treatment. After that, she switched to organic food and almost a vegetarian diet. She took lots of fruits and try to eat as many organic food as she can.
She had lost her mom to cancer when she was in her twenties and was determined to fight for her life. She used to tell me that she suspected it was the frozen beef and sausages that she had loved eating when she was working- most of the time, she was too busy to cook (and no one else in her home had time to cook also because all are in the corporate world). With stress, and the heavily preserved food, must have been the cause.
Still, she always offered me valuable advise when I went down to see her and was concerned about my career progress. She also advised me to eat well and appreciate my health, after all, you will never know what you have until you lose it. Health was something she had taken for granted for so long. She opt for early retirement and devote more time to things that mattered to her… spend time with loved ones, spending more time in prayers, learning Qi Gong. Her view of life was constantly optimistic.
Sadly, she was later diagnosed with secondaries which had spread to her lungs and bones. She was to undergo a second round of chemo. She did it bravely but her health deterioted and her body was collasping. By the second chemo shot, she was too sick to continue.. her blood count was too low. She started having problem walking. During that time, she prayed a lot, even a while when she could not walk. One day, she told her father that she felt a connection with God- and she walked. She was in peace. A few days later, she passed away. Towards the last few years of her life, she had made sure she spent more time with friends. Those friends came up and speak about her, her care and goodness with such warmth that it was touching. They sang Christian hymms from their hearts- the atmosphere in the funeral was very peaceful.
In my dream, I thanked her for everything and asked her if there was anything I could get for her. She said, she had wanted a pair of socks. So we walked to look for a shop and talked. I remember passing by a young girl who seemed to be looking at us. I asked her if she could see May (even in my dream I knew May had passed on) and the girl probably could only see me talking to myself. She said yes. And I talked to May, I did not care if people were to stare at me thinking I am a weirdo talking to myself. I was glad to see an old friend again.