Monday, May 28, 2012
A Letter to Jude, by Josephine Pooint Neo
A Letter to Jude, Our Dearest 18/03 Classmate - You will always be with Us
by Josephine Pooint Neo on Monday, May 28, 2012 at 1:19am ·
I miss you. I am missing you right now badly. Buckets of tear are just streaming down my cheeks. I just can't get over your sudden departure. I just keep asking 'Where are you, Jude?", "Jude, are you really gone?". "Jude, can you answer me?" When I first heard the news from my sister and confirmed it from your facebook posts, I was like "is this a joke?" You know, you always like to joke aJround. We can hardly take things serious about you. When I called Elsa and Betty to confirm, the news became cold hard facts. Yet it just didn't feel real. My legs went cold. I was paralyzed. I felt like vomitting. In my mind, I keep thinking "It can't be", "It can't be".
Life is so UNFAIR! You didn't even get to enjoy life as much as you could! Jude, I always tease you for being such a thrifty guy. Being so miserly with your 500 sms limit per month. I believe we all knew how Jude is always trying to be thrifty and saving up for greater plans he has in life. Totally UNFAIR! You have so much to accomplish in life. So many things undone. You were just starting out. So many plans you have. Why God didn't give you a chance to complete them? Why God allowed you to start the projects only to take you away so abruptly! Everyone in class are in shock! Totally speechless. We don't know what to say. Some of us don't know how to react. Did you see the tears shed for you at the wake just now? Did you also see the unshed tears? Everyone's heart is broken. We could only seek solace in each other's eyes and gentle touch to show we care.
You haven't met Wai Kit, have you? Some of our classmates didn't turn up at this year class birthday celebration. Tonight, we met quite a few rare classmates. Wai Kit and Ching Mien. It was sad to have to meet them at this kind of setting. It was never meant to turn out this way.
Being the happy-go-lucky guy you are, I know you probably will tell me (and us) not to be sad over your departure. You will flash your super white teeth (it is white in comparison to your very dark skin tone) and cheer us up. We share the same faith, and I know that you have been called back by Father to return to Him. But why Jude? Why did Father call you back so early? Father, can I ask you why have you called Jude back so early?
This is what most of us remember you as - Someone whom we can talk anytime we feel like having someone to talk to. Jude, you know how much value I give to our friendship? You are a friend, a very close friend. Though we don't meet up often but we know we can always click so well when we meet up again. I remember when I first entered TJC, I was one of the new students in class. You were the one who broke the ice and helped Sing Yung and I integrate into the class. You sat behind us and introduced yourself as CAMEL because you drink a lot of water. I believe many people still remember you as THE CAMEL!
Jude, your fighting spirit is so strong. But this time, why weren't you given a chance to fight. What is this? Pronounced DOA? How can?! When in JC days, you were hospitalised because of dengue fever, I visited you at CGH and wrote you a letter cos I was afraid you might be bored. Do you remember I make you write a letter back to me? And you did, with your ugly handwriting though. Your condition was pretty bad with the extremely low platelets and you looked so pale and sick. The whole class was so worried and glad when you pulled through the dengue fever and bounced back to health.
You are one who always serve others and willing to help your friends. As a result you have MANY friends with whom you have crossed paths with. My JC days was one of the best because of you. One day you played the harmonica for us in class. And I wanted to learn so you taught me how to play the harmonica without hesitation. You even brought me to Bras Brasah to buy the harmonica. We spend days learning the harmonica and I was so happy that I could play a few songs with style. We were laughing at how I couldn't coordinate the blow and suck of the holes and having so much saliva spitting into the harmonica. Jude, I still have the harmonica that we bought together with me. I am so glad I didn't throw it away though it is spoilt. Today when I was heading to the MRT station to take a train to attend your wake, I heard the sounds of harmonica. My tears just went uncontrollable.
Your talent was not just limited to the harmonica. We lost a guitarist and entertainer of the class too. Remember we also had days of playing the guitar together? we played for Teachers day? We were the two guitarists and the whole class sang along. Do you remember the songs we played? "Somewhere over the rainbow" and "对面的女孩". We had so much fun celebrating Teachers Day. Jude, You taught me how to laugh at oneself and be confident. During our practice, we both realised we can't sing! We are tone deaf and we got so silly laughing at ourselves for singing out of tune. Nonetheless we enjoyed ourselves.
We lost a friend. Jude, where are you? I believe many of us in this class has confided in Jude before at least once in your life. Jude is such a great person to chat with for he can talk about anything under the sun. Though you seldom keep secrets well unless you are told not to spread. Now, I have lost my confidante in discussing relationship stuff. I remember those sessions we have on sms and MSN about relationship issues. We both were helping each other in understanding the opposite sex. Jude, now that you are not around, who can I turn to?
Jude, you were the photographer for our class. Your photo works for special events of some of our classmates will linger on. You taught me photography too. Some of our classmates were inspired by you too to take up photography. You were like the initiator of all fun, new and upcoming trends. I remembered my first exposure to photography was with you at Botanical Gardens. You took photos of Bonsai plants. Weird objects to take of but that's just you. Being the unconventional person whom I know. Speaking of photography, it just triggers tears in me again. The first camera I have - Olympus - you brought me to Funan IT Mall to buy it. Jude, why did you have to teach me so many things that just thinking of you or seeing my personal objects makes me cry.
Jude, why did you go cycling again? Didn't you tell me you have stopped cycling when we met up in March? Why did you bring out your bicycle? So many 'whys' questions that I have no answers to and no one to ask. Jude, were you cycling in tandem and on the outer side so as to help other riders? Jude, you are just you, being so responsible. I remember we had a class cycling and you were the one leading us too, being the visible rider for the group. Jude, can't you for once be selfish and just stick to one file?
Thanks Jude for teaching me how to pursue our dreams. You were one who is always so inspirational. Your attitude to life is take it as life comes. Do not worry beyond. You go all out for what you want to do. No regrets in life. I am so glad you, I and Betty tried to collaborate for the pizza business too. Though we couldn't be partners, we tried. You were such a wonderful person. When I whined that I didn't get to eat your pizza despite helping you trial new menus for your pizza business, you agreed to come to my house to do pizza for me!!! I must say your dough making process was so creative, flipping it in the air. It was your way of trademark your business.
Jude, what am I supposed to do with those sms messages in my handphone? I was still conversing with you on the phone. We were planning to go trekking together with Junychi, remember? You were still telling me you and Junychi was going to hike along Lim Chu Kang road. Each time, I wanted to join you, our timing wasn't correct. I was so looking forward to a hike with the two of you. We talked about going for overseas hiking trip too that's why I was to join you for hiking in SG first. We were to share great trekking routes in Singapore. You asked me about MacRitchie routes too. Jude, will we get a chance to hike together again?
Jude, you were telling me you and Junychi were going Melbourne and trying for consultancy jobs. You sought my advice on Melbourne transport system cos I stayed there before. We were supposed to meet to trek and I was supposed to share with you all the best things of Melbourne and its transport system! But it just never happened and it will never happen. And you promised to give me a treat if you landed the counsultancy job cos I provided you with Melbourne travel info. Jude, I wish I can give you the treat instead. Jude, can you hear me?
Jude, I really hope you hear all of these words from me. This feels so like relieving the good times together as old friends. Your death is too sudden. All of us are in shock. We lost a friend. We lost a classmate. We lost the entertainer of the class. We lost Camel. We lost Mr Jack-of-all-trades, Master-of-none. We lost Mr Harmonica. We lost Mr. Guitar. We lost Mr. Pizza Man. We lost Mr. Windsurfer dude. We lost Mr. Photographer. We lost you, Jude.
However, I believe your soul and essence still lingers with us. Your laughter. Your voice. Your happy-go-lucky character. Your why-worry-about-tomorrow attitude. Your long hair. Your pizzas. We will always remember you. The class of 18/03 will remember you forever. You make the celebration of 18/03 class birthday on 18th March 2012 possible cos you are always so willing to Serve.
Rest well Jude. Till then, we shall meet and reunite in the Father's kingdom.
P.S. I have tagged all our classmates as well. Sharing this note with them so that we can remember you together.