Aunty Sida wrote a beautiful eulogy for my mom. We were all in tears yesterday, proof reading the thing. I’m not sure if I can do justice translating, but I’ll try.
Khun Noi was born on November 29, 1941. She was the third of four daughters of Mr. Suvit and Mrs. Lamiad in Surat Thani Province [in the south of Thailand]. Noi received her elementary education in Baan Poang district in Ratchaburi province, then to St. Joseph Convent School and Amporn Paisarn School in Bangkok. After graduating from high school, she continued her studies in the UK. With an associates degree from secretary school, Noi returned to Bangkok and worked at Rama Hotel.
It was in England where Noi met Jed. They were each other’s first loves. The courtship began there and they remained close while Jed continued his studies in Oregon, USA. Noi later followed him to the U.S. where they got married. She remained by his side while he attended graduate school in Missouri.
Upon their return to Thailand, they began their family. Noi and Jed had 3 children. The oldest Ake is married to Pim. The second son is Onk. And the youngest daughter Oh (aka Oakley) is married to Brandon and they live in the U.S.
All of her life, Khun Noi had put everything into her family, keeping close eyes on her children’s education and well being. She also took care of all of her family members and friends. Nobody was ever left unassisted if assistance was needed. She never said no. Her house had become the hub for her friends and their children. Everyone knew Aunty Noi and adored her as if she was their second mother.
Noi had always been the healthier one of the bunch. She quite literally flit around everywhere. She was always pleasant and had a wicked sense of humor. Every time she came back from her annual check up, she would tell her friends how he felt sorry for Jed.
“I think I’m one of those wives who get old fast but can’t die fast enough,” she said. And we’d laughed at that.
But in November 2005, Noi came out of her physical with bad news. At first, the results showed that something was wrong with her heart. She sought a second opinion, and her heart was perfectly fine. It was her lung where a mas was found. The biopsy was malignant, so they removed a part of her lung along with the tumor, and sent her home. [Oakley’s note: that’s right. No chemo. No radiation follow up. Don’t even get me started…]
After 9 months, we found out that the cancer had metastasized to her brain and liver. Noi went through radiation and chemotherapy, and suffered a stroke during treatment respectively. She fought on a good year before finally succumbing to the disease on Tuesday, August 21, 2007 [Bangkok time].
Noi’s unexpected death brought on much sorrow for her family and friends. We believe that everyone here today feels the same profound loss. If Noi’s spirit could hear us, we would like to tell her that we love her very much. To us, she is never truly gone as she will always be in our hearts and memories forever.
With all the good karma she had in this life time, we pray that Noi’s spirit will enter the heavens where she truly belongs.
Noi was 65 years and 9 months old.
If I were to offer prayers for you right now, besides the obvious comfort for your loss and sorrow and all that, I suppose I should include, “And please, God, don’t let Oakley hurl on the boat while they take her mother’s ashes out to sea.”
BTW, I say go for it with the camera. Try to figure out which you’ll regret more later–not having pictures of all these people at this occassion that will be a blur later because of the emotional fog, or not following Thai Ways and bothering someone with your American self?
Just a thought.
Me, I hardly took a single shot at my grandmother’s funeral in Canada. Again, easier said than done…
more hugs! I’m off to surround myself with drunkards and carry their dirty glasses while the grab my ass in 80%+ humidity…. 75 degrees but feels like 81, it says. later….