R.I.P, Baby Adam...
As promised, I wrote a short note on Chee Keong's (also known as Adam) passing in StarMag on the 27th of March, Sunday...You can read the actual piece here...
You may also read the original story I wrote about Chee Keong in StarMag here and the subsequent story that followed when I had to say goodbye (when he left for the home) here...
R.I.P., baby Adam
I need a hug.
As I write this, my heart is full of sorrow. Adam, the dear little boy I had given my heart to, is gone. And I never had the chance to say goodbye.
I met Adam in Ipoh Hospital's Paediatric Ward two years ago . He was born with Spastic Quadriplegia Cerebral Palsy, and chromosomal abnormalities of unknown origin. It was because of this (and poverty) that led his parents to give him up when he was just a baby.
I met Adam when he was 16 months old, weighing a shocking 4 kg, and struggling to stay alive. For six months, I was his “foster” mother. I made his milk every morning, fed him, bathed him, cuddled him, massaged him, helped him exercise, tracked his weight, and at times, scolded him! He threw up all over me many days (do you know how disgusting bananas and milk combined smell like?) and got me sick as he was perpetually ill, but I was there, through the multiple IV lines in his arms, legs, and a couple times, his scalp. I was there every morning when they forced the mucus out of him. I was there for the fevers, the pneumonias, and the oxygen masks.
I didn't realise it then, but the more time I spent with Adam, the more I grew to love him. When he left the hospital for a home for the handicapped, I was devastated.
For days later, I was like a zombie. After carrying Adam every morning for so long, I was at a loss because the child I had grown to love so much was no longer here with me. I missed his smile, his coo, his split-second laughter, his snoring and I sure missed his smell. I especially missed Adam when I went shopping. I would be holding a cute little jumper or toy in my hands, before I realised there was no baby to buy for anymore.
But I moved on as best as I could.
Still, whenever I was in the area of the children's home, I would persuade my dad to make the 30km detour to see Adam, just to hold him for a few minutes.
And then on the morning of the May 20, I got a call that he had passed away from complications from measles at 8am. I was in Kuala Lumpur and, on the way home, my dad drove me for the last time to the hospital where Adam was warded frequently after he left Ipoh. This time, it was not a bed that we headed for, but the cold building no one ever wants to step into: The mortuary.
I saw him for the last time that Sunday at 4pm. He was wrapped in white cloth, and I got to touch him one last time. I had never seen him so peaceful. When he was alive, even in sleep, he was either snoring or gasping for air.
I “had” a baby at the age of 19 and I lost him at the age of 21. But what matter most now is that Adam is finally at peace, and he has gone home to God.
As a Baha’i, I believe that a special child like Adam has a very special station in the next world. Whether you believe in a God or not, that was the main thing that has consoled me, along with great support from family and friends.
Adam, it’s your turn to watch over me now, and I know you will....