Clarence Laiyap Goduli is a very dear friend. Today was a heart wrenching day at SMC. I was doing my yearly medical check up and met up with his family, Clay's partner and Clay of course. Bedridden, ryles tube in his lungs, to remove excess fluid building up in his lung cavity. He has cancer. Three years back when I was still in KK, we go out almost evryday for lunch or dinner or some weekend out doing stuff, music related mostly. He has always been complaining about his back. I remember telling him to see a doctor. Some friends said he went to have a back massage instead. The back pain came and gone. Until last year in August the pain became too much to bear that he went to see a specialist. He had a tumour in his backbone. He underwent treatment in Kk but they had to send him off to kuching for chemotherapy because the tumour was malignant, cancerous. The chemo took a toll on him, zapped his physical energy but not his spirit.
Whilst in kuching, he even took time off hospital to go shopping with Martin (our friend) who came and visited him. Last year he came home for his birthday 13th Feb 2008. Everyone who knew him came, so did I and Mesh. I gave him my first single of which I hope to record this week to listen and he used it as a background music for his birthday video & pics potraits. I called him on a regular basis to check on his health and just last week he went back home to his house in Taman kemayan, Penampang. He was living with his parents in Lokawi then.
Tuesday morning, I received a call saying that he was in critical condition. I tried to book an afternoon flght but it was full. I managed to get the last seat at 6:30pm. Upon arrival I rushed to Queen Elizabeth Hospital, 7:40pm, just past visiting hours. I forced the security to let me in and thankfully he did, reluctantly. I made it to the ICu but he has been transferred up to the 3rd floor. Face pale, oxygen mask on, and tubing sticking out of his chest filled with fluid and blood. His mom greeted me with a soft frailed handshake, I wanted to give her a hug but I felt that it was not appropriate. Clay was still alive. I held back my tears as I said hello. A nod and a blink of an eye consoled me. He acknowledged.
Flashback of Betty La fea on weekdays late afternoon where I escaped from work just to watch it with him at his house. then the Lilian Too fever caught up on both of us and our houses were like a feng shui shop found at the back alley of an old Hong Kong street. It is 5:00pm and called up his partner to find out the status of his scan result this morning. No result till monday after the holidays. Clay is back on the 3rd floor. Back in 1998, I remembered coming home from brunei where I used to work and dropped by at Olive's where I was introduced to Clarence. We became friends immediately, music brought us together. Him into chorals and me ..well my music. We've been to conserts, musical related events, you name it.
It is imminent that he may be sent to the Paliative Care unit , said his mom. My heart sank. I gave a brave smile to to her at the hospital and said be strong to his sister. I gave his partner a pat on the shoulder. And what his partner said broke me into pieces. "I do not have any leaves left. I am not going to stay in Seremban waiting for bad news. I might as well take a long one month. If he leaves, I want to be there with him, to be there during his last breath." I finally said I had to make a move. I reached my car, sat down and I cried, and cried and cried...
"Some gifts are big, others are small. Gifts from the heart are the best gifts of all."
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