I turned 60 on July 10th. Yay!!! It was a breeze getting here. Now, it’s downhill all the way, brakes have been ripped off. The speeds downhill are exhilarating, daresay many a young ‘un will not dare attempt it. I have the audicity to choose to go down this path instead of having coffee every morning at coffee shops with other senior aged people, talking about the weather. I have been blessed with good health that has given me the honour of being a platelets / plasma /blood donor 300 times + over. The thing is I don’t actually think about whether I will be getting up the next morning to another new day – it’s expected.

I was at Jen’s house last Thursday morning for a visit with Laura, something that we rarely do because they(she and Ray) live so far away that Timbuktu seems only a stone’s throw away. Travelling anywhere out of Subang Jaya seems so far. Could this be the “60s” effect? I should be like my two gallivanting aunts – Aunty Maureen and Aunty Val – they just hop on a plane and off they go – Germany, Australia and Malaysia (Aunty Val).

Back to visiting Jen, what this is about… Jen was lying down on the sofa, something I have never seen her do…ever. She was tired(she looked it). Laura went upstairs to Rachel’s room to rummage through all Rachel’s clothes that she left behind (Rachel was now staying at Tim’s place) to see what she could wear and take home. Jen and Ray were given the task to distribute the clothes to Laura, Sarah and whoever else wanted them,

Jen, Ray and I talked about all the pain Jen was going through; many times, it has been unbearable for her. She has to take painkillers to numb her pain. Like me with medicine, Jen tries not to rely too much on them for fear of becoming over-dependent on them. The cost of getting the medicines here are astronomically skyhigh, as the suppliers capitalise on the need for people to survive…literally.

As I mentioned earlier on, we don’t think about living or getting up the next morning to go through the day. It’s expected – taken for granted. Jen, on the other hand; is in a war zone – she literally has to fight this disease called cancer, going through frequent painful spells, treatments, medications every moment of her life; just to stay alive; this physical act that does not need us to consciously command us to do so. She is going through this all by herself. Sure, she has Ray’s enduring support and the support from family and friends the world over. But the battle itself, she’s fighting it all by herself as it is within her. She’s the sniper, taking down each cancer cell as they show up. God is with her and had always been. He has been her hope, her strength, her comforter, her joy, her peace, her smiles and her laughter. She believes in miracles and that if God wills it, she will be healed.

Here, I am not talking about someone who is caught up in the middle of a war conflict in some far away country, or someone strickened with a rare disease we usually read about in the news or on social media. This is my own sister. And Ray, yes Ray…what about him?

Well… He always laughs things off, always seeing the lighter or brighter side of things, never ever running away from any problems or challenges. He is Jen’s Knight in shining armour. He has always been a good brother-in- law to me and my brothers, and a good son-in-law to my parents.

If you were to meet Jen, you will not believe that she is a cancer fighter. She is preoccupied with living life to the fullest. As siblings, we are closer now than we’ve ever been. Must be the age. When mum and dad were in their 60s, that age seemed so far away. Now, we are getting into the groove of things and looking at life from a different angle. The “thinker” in me has become so much more prominent.

Note: This is not a sequel to my earlier write-up. Or is it?

Dedicated to my sista.

Oh ya, and Laura came home with a big cooler bag full of Rachel’s clothes. You will be able to spot her with “R. Arnold” or “Malaysia Squash” on her “Tees“, plus a lot more fashionable clothes, too.

I am grateful to God for everything.

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