I am about to go to sleep but before I do there is one thing I must get off my mind. I want you to know that taking care of my wife is no big deal.
This is the women who decided in 1967 - at age 23 - that she will say "YES" to the proposal (from a 21 year old me) that we spend the rest of our life together. A "me" that not only did not have the money to get her an engagement ring - but the "me" she had to buy a trouser for in order that I had a decent trouser to wear for our wedding!
Then immediately after our marriage I left her alone in London to fend for herself and I went home to KL without the diploma that I went to Ealing Tech in London for, to try and find a job to start our life together in a country she has never been to.
This is also the women with whom I started married life in Seremban with, working as an Underwriter for MNI. Our first car was a Fiat 500 wagon:
Yes it had a sunroof but I had to keep the speed under 40 mph (those days were miles per hour!) or the sunroof will fly open and more often than not, the car had to be pushed to get it started - and my wife did the pushing! Which was ok when the car was in the driveway of our house but not when the engine died on us at traffic lights...and jokes aside...that was probably the reason we lost our first child which my wife gave birth to prematurely in Seremban.
And then we moved to Penang. When I decided to go into business...well actually it was more like opening a roadside burger stall in Padang Broom rather then "go into business"...she agreed to make the burgers and stood by my side selling those burgers until midnight seven days a week.
Time and time again my wife stoically up and moved with me from house to house, city to city and country to country - always doing what she had to do to keep our family together. She was the one that stood between me and my daughter when I was about to put the fear of God into my daughter when I found out that she was smoking. I love my son as much as she did but she understood him better than me.
In all the time that we have been together I never remember buying her a single piece of jewellery - not a ring, not a bangle not even an earring of any real value. Never did she complain, never did she asked for any. I cannot recall a time when she would demur when I could not give her money for food. Never too had she ever told me of her wish for a better life, a better house or a better husband!
Like my late mother, my wife is without malice. She takes life as it comes and have never wavered in her unconditional love for our children and for me. If I could fault her on anything it is for her preference of Brad Pitt to me...and that, I must add, is only a preference not a want!
So this is the women that I have known since I was twenty one and she was then twenty three. And now at a time when I had hoped I would be able to live the rest of her life and of mine in this wonderful city of Melbourne together, she is struck down by dementia.
What do I do?
What can I do but do as what she and I have always wanted to do when we could no longer travel the world as we used to - live the rest of our life together....and that is what we are doing now. Amen.