May was born in Hong Kong on May 31,1965. She passed away in Edmonton on June 2, 2022 at the age of 57. She was the youngest of our five siblings, and I am her older sister by 5 years. She immigrated to Canada with our whole family on December 30, 1973 when she was 8 years old and lived in Edmonton for the next 49 years.
At the young age of 7, May had demonstrated that she was capable of taking up responsibilities and to care for others because she was being chosen as the class leader by her grade one teacher for her charm and intelligence. May was also very independent since she was often being left alone by herself throughout her childhood while our parents were busy working for a living. I also remember she was so proud of herself when she received her high school diploma that one year. She was also an honour student in junior high.
Unfortunately, at age 15, she was diagnosed with a severe and incurable brain disease, so called cancer of the mental health. Since then, she had to struggle with the mental challenges for the next 42 years. Due to her condition, she was under my care for 22 years since our parents passed away in the year 2000. Despite of all the adversities in her life, May managed to live by herself and never gave us any trouble. She also managed to have some very good friends. As well, there were some excitements in May’s life. In 1985, she took a trip to Toronto for a month by herself to visit our aunt and cousins.
She also traveled back to Hong Kong with our father in 1997 for another month, a trip she would never forget. Another thing that she enjoyed the most was our family gathering for the Christmas turkey dinners at Frank’s. She would ask me every Christmas if there’ll be a Christmas dinner at Frank’s and always looked forward to that.
During the last 4 weeks of May’s life, she met Christine Hirschi, her social worker in unit # 44 at the Royal Alex Hospital who treated her with respect, support and as a friend. Christine made an impact in May’s last few weeks of her life by taking her out for coffee. That coffee and donut at Tim Horton meant so much to her which were equal to a prime rib and lobster dinner, and yet May was so easy to please and to be satisfied. She was so happy for just a coffee and donut and never asked for anything more.
We are forever grateful to Christine and all the nursing staff, doctors and the medical teams at the Royal Alexandra Hospital for their hard work and dedication. We deeply appreciate the service and care that they provided for May in those past 9 months.
May was hospitalized on August 25, 2021 in critical condition with Covid and spent the next 9 months in hospital. She had 3 admissions in ICU and experienced God’s miraculous healing. When a person is in ICU, we are talking about life and death with survival rate of less than 20%. Once again, May showed us that she was a fighter. She won the battles many times over. Her third ICU admission was on New Year’s Day of 2022, where she had cardiac arrest with a possibility of brain damage. Her throat, vocal cord and airways were so damaged that she could not eat or drink for four long months and we were being told that she could never eat again. So devastating and very tough for May to overcome all the temptations, cravings and hunger strikes while she watched other patients eat and could smell food 3 times a day for 4 months. However, God’s grace is sufficient for us, a miracle happened again at the end of April, May miraculously passed the swallowing test and was able to eat and drink again. The next 4 weeks were a game changer for May, she was getting better, stronger and happier everyday. Her mind was much more clear and calm, no sign of any brain damage at all.
We Celebrated May’s 57 birthday on May 31, two days before her passing with a chaplain, Christine and her favourite fruit cake. We sang her birthday song which became her first and last birthday song. I buy her birthday’s present every year but never sing a song for some reason. The chaplain gave May a bible, we were reading John 3:16 with her.
‘For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only son, for whoever believes in Him, shall not perish but have everlasting life.’
In the morning of June 1, I took a long walk for an hour praying for May as she was planning to have discharge from the hospital to a rental apartment of her choice.
Three weeks before that I tried so hard to convince her to apply to Norwood nursing home because they have the best available personnel and medical equipment to care for the permanent tracheostomy in her neck. She needed that to help her breathe, without it she would die. I also tried my best to become her guardian in order to help her make the best medical decision but with no luck. Instead, I got an assurance from God saying that He is May’s guardian, He will find her a best place to live. He will take good care of her. He will do what’s best for her. By the way, May was a Christian, she was baptized on December 25, 2004 at North Edmonton Alliance Church. Prayer requests were sent out and all our relatives in Toronto had her in their thoughts were praying for her as well.
On June 2, approximately at 7:30 am, May took her last breath and passed away peacefully and she is now in heaven with our Lord. She finally got her freedom and a new home that she’s been longing for. With May’s passing, we experienced God’s Sovereignty and Goodness. On your own, we’ll never know for sure how life will unfold. In the end, God decides what happens next, not us. Nothing compares to His infinite wisdom and knowledge.
Please remember May as a good person with a faithful heart. She was beautiful, intelligent, strong, independent, kind, loving, funny and sweet. May she rest in peace.
Thoughts to remember:
At the right time, God will provide your needs. At the right time, God will deliver you. At the right time, God will rescue you. (God’s timing is perfect and He has the final say…..)
“For I know the plans I have for you.” declares the Lord,” plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
2 Corinthians 1:3-4 New International Version
Praise to the God of All Comfort
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.