Ms. Samantha Wong
“She (Samantha) always comes visit me, talks to me, or bring me to restaurant. I like her visiting me, everyone looks down on me, but she never did! Isn’t that great?”
Ah Hing told me and my professor back then in the park, her words still touches me today. I never realize, a simple respect outweighs all the services and plans we made for her. And her whole life, seems to be an endless journey of seeking respect from others.
Ah Hing, a very slender looking lady, was 5-feet tall, but weight only 80 pounds. She always tripped herself while walking.
Thus, when we first got to know her, we thought her wounds were caused by tripping over. Only later we learned that she intentionally wounded herself. It might sound weird, right? You may ask, “Why would one wound herself? Would she not rather stay pretty?” Sure she wished to be pretty, for numerous time, she framed her face with her hands and said, “ I’m disfigured! It’s scary, isn’t it! Thus everyone’s scared of me! Miss Wong, please help me? Please help me kill those worms!” Owing to the side effect of drug abuse, she had illusions that worms were all over her body, inside her and even on her face. She thought, by wounding herself, those worms would come out, and no longer stay within her.
However, worms were not the only thing she wanted to kill. She would die to swipe out those memories and experiences, where she was looked down at.
When Ah Hing was young, she was a sweet looking girl with many suitors. Marriage and kids should have brought her good life. Yet, not getting along with her mother-in-law, insulting words and husband’s misunderstanding became main reasons of the marriage’s failure. Mentioning of her mother-in-law, she always asked, “Why doesn’t she like me?” Home was no longer where she belongs as she did not feel loved, needed nor respected. Thus, she wished to be needed by her sister.
Ah Hing’s sister and her husband were both drug abusers. Ah Hing tried all she could to convince them to stop. Yet, in the end, she decided to try drug with her sister. She thought this could give her sister motivation to quit abusing drugs, however, it turned out she was hooked on, and becoming slave of drugs. I believe, in the following days, it was also the way she used to escape from her pain.
Although, she might feel the whole world neglected her, yet in 1987, God arranged her reunion with her Uncle, Uncle Tam who walked her through the last part of her life, even when she was in jail, wandering on the street, let her stay at his place, took her to doctors, bought her stuff with his own limited amount of CSSA, even when scolded, he never talked back. Uncle Tam was always there for her till the end of her life.
I asked Uncle Tam, “Why would you still take care of her even she brings you all the troubles. You don’t have to go this far for her?” He answered with tears, “Both me and her are the only one left in the family. That year, my sister died because of cancer, I’ve been an orphan and making living on my own hands. If I ignore her, who would have cared for her?” Looking at the white-headed Uncle Tam, he resembled Ah Hing. She, wished to find her value with convincing her sister; He, wanted to help Ah Hing to compensate his lonely childhood. Somehow, those who gave hands always gave with their own will in mind. It is however not an easy job, at the end of the day, one would realize nothing could be done and will only be overwhelmed by more helplessness and hopelessness.
Ah Hing, like she said, was considered a trouble by most who knew her. I always picked her up by the park as the government ordered us to leave as soon as possible and cause no more trouble. If I took her to restaurant, we might get into awkward situations when she misbehaved, such as spitting or venting. Sometimes, I just wished to leave her alone and walk away as if I didn’t know her. But in her world, she found herself deserve no love – broken marriage, family passed away before her, due to her appearance, not much would like to talk to her. We always tried to help her set recovery plans, and wished she would cooperate, so to live a life of normal person.
There’s once, I ran out of idea and brought my psychological professor with me to visit her, hoping to figuring something out to help her. My professor asked her, “Would you want to live the rest of your life like this in the park?” Surprisingly, she answered, “Isn’t that great?” She pointed at me, and continued, ““She always comes visit me, talks to me, or bring me to restaurant. I like her visiting me, everyone looks down on me, but she never did! Isn’t that great?”
Ah Hing, I never know you would feel satisfied with only that little. Did that mean you finally found that one who respect you? Did you finally realize, there are two people that would complain you being a trouble, yet always be there for you?
Morning, 26 Dec, 2010, a weak voice came through the phone, “Miss Wong, Ah Hing died!”
“Ah Hing’s dead, on the 24th.” it took Uncle Tam much effort to repeat.
“Why would you not tell me earlier?”
Not bidding Ah Hing farewell, not seeing her for one last time, became one of my regret.
However, I wish you well, and would meet that Father in heaven, who never look down on you, always loving and respect you, and will help cure you from the “Worms”.