Sunday, June 9, 2013

Another Fond Farewell

Eulogy For Aunty Merle
(1953 - 2009)
12 March 2009
Church Of The
Assumption, Petaling Jaya

If I could use one word, just one word to describe Aunty Merle, it would be this – simple. It didn’t take much to make her happy. She enjoyed the simple things in life. She worked hard, kept a good home, loved her husband and daughters, Trina and Romie, deeply and devotedly and left everything else in the hands of the Lord. There was little else she needed.

I remember Aunty Merle as being a lot of fun. She was very witty, always the one with the quick come back lines, never afraid to make fun of herself, and kept us all well entertained with many, many funny, outrageous stories! I have many happy memories of the whole family, gathered around dining tables, talking and laughing, with Aunty Merle right in the middle of it all, with her great humor and big laughs. How I will miss that!

Aunty Merle loved to eat and had a great passion for hawker food, ice cream, chocolates – the lot. She was an excellent cook and loved to cook everything herself for the numerous dinner parties we had at her home. The whole extended family would go to Aunty Merle’s house, every year for New Year’s Day lunch, where after feasting on meats during the Christmas season, we would all relish her sambar, salt-fish, ikan-bilis sambal, and more. It was something we all looked forward to and she never disappointed.

Many of you will know and have personal testimonies of Aunty Merle’s famed efficiency and meticulousness. She was extremely well organized, planned everything to the minutest detail and was ALWAYS, ALWAYS punctual. She was dependable, focused, solid. In our family, Aunty Merle was indisputably recognized as the ‘mandor’ even by my older Uncles and Aunties.

But Aunty Merle reserved her best talents for the home. In her own way, quietly but constantly and persistently, Aunty Merle poured her heart and soul into loving her husband and daughters. Fiercely loyal and protective of them, nothing else was more important. She loved them, and they loved her. Her labour of love has sowed many seeds, which I know, even with her passing, will bear much fruit. She also loved to tend to the little garden at her home and would grab any opportunity to visit a plant nursery or “borrow” plant cuttings from her sister’s and sisters-in law’s garden.

Aunty Merle was a deeply spiritual person and was profoundly inspired by St. Theresa of Avila and St. John of the Cross. She spent a lot of time in prayer and church related activities. She was actively involved in the communion ministry, charismatic movement and various pray groups. My aunty had a truly generous spirit. She gave freely of her time and effort, never counting the cost, asking nothing in return. Her joy was complete in simply giving.

Aunty Merle was knocked down by a car over a year ago and after a painful recovery, in December last year, it was discovered that she had a blood disorder which destroyed her red blood cells. The doctors said it was not a life threatening sickness and we all expected she would recover fully, but it was not to be. Although she fought right to the end with great courage, Jesus called her home. A few days before she died she told my dad, her brother, that she had told Jesus, that no matter what sickness or pain Jesus lets her endure, she will cling on to Him even more tightly.

What a huge loss to us, her community, her family. One we were not prepared for, one that will take a while to register and longer to overcome. Aunty Merle will be sadly missed.

Before I end, on behalf of the family, I want to offer these words of comfort Aunty Merle’s daughters, my cousins, Trina & Romie. Mummy was taken away too soon. Your young hearts may not even comprehend it yet. Life without a parent is scary, daunting, confusing. But remember that the great love of Jesus is stronger than the love of a parent. Trust in Jesus, just like Mummy did. He will see you through.

Friends and family, your presence here today is a testament of your love and fondness for Aunty Merle. On behalf of the family, I thank you being here, for your words of comfort and your prayers. They mean so very much to us.

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