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It's strange to wake up to the New Year with the awareness that a primary school teacher never lived to witness it. She lost her fight to cancer. Miss Setoh never officially taught me, I was never in her class. But many of my old school friends were, and they grew to love her deeply. Sometimes you get to know someone by the friends that respect, love and speak fondly of them. It's funny how Mingli's 1st email on her illness sank my heart:

“Hey girls,
sorry for the long delay, I only managed to visit Ms Szetoh yesterday. so here is the account...
I went in the afternoon at 3pm, and there were no other visitors. Ms Szetoh has a private nurse by her. She lays in bed with her eyes closed, but she is conscious. When I saw her I said "Ms Szetoh, I'm Mingli.." and she said approvingly (haha) "mmm, mingli ah..". She was very drowsy throughout my visit, and hardly opened her eyes, so I just talked and talked to her la and stroked her arm and held her hand..she is frail, but her skin is very soft...and she nodded and mumbled in response sometimes, and mostly she just listened and sometimes I think she sorta smiled and squeezed my hand a little a couple of times when I mentioned your names.
Ms Szetoh had some Milo at tea time sipping through a straw, then took her medicine, just a small cup. Oh I sang her Hym to Father girls remember that?? that was when I think she kinda smiled.
and so, I will visit again on Sunday with Felicia. In the meantime, should any of you girls have an idea...gathering, prayer session etc..please feel free to post a suggestion anytime. I have a feeling she would be happy to have you girls visit her...let me know..perhaps we can arrange for something..”

I never made it to the hospital nor the funeral. The last memory I have of her is at the mini primary school gathering in Marina Mandarin. It's almost terrifying how fragile life really is. How quickly it comes and goes... And the impact it leaves with the people around.

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