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Sunday, 19 February 2017 00:00

A Wish without Regrets

Written by  Julie Yen Yu Chu, Melaka / Translated byTai Ren Yin

Chan Ah Moi’s wish to donate her home for charity has finally been fulfilled on January 23, 2017,  with lawyer, Pang Siew Fian and volunteer Yeo Chu Way (1st right)  and other volunteers as witnesses. [Photograph by Choon Kian Ming]

In March 2014, Chan Ah Moi was placed in a nursing home by her relatives following a serious illness. This made her realize the impermanent nature of life, and she began thinking about the rest of her life.


Donating her flat for a good cause has been Chan Ah Moi’s final wish. Having harboured the idea for two years, she finally made her will on January 23, 2017, with lawyer, Pang Siew Fian, and Tzu Chi volunteers as witnesses.

Having achieved her wish, Ah Moi can finally lift up the burden in her heart. With no more regrets in this life, she became emotional. With tears and smiles, she said, “Thank you Master Cheng Yen, Tzu Chi and its volunteers. I am really thankful. My wish has finally been achieved with the donation of my home to (Tzu Chi) School. I am very happy!”

Unrelenting love

Eighty-four-year-old Ah Moi, who is childless, has been living alone since her husband’s demise. When life became difficult, Tzu Chi volunteers arrived in time to care for her. A family-like relationship has gradually been established between them, thanks to the volunteers’ sincere love and companionship since January 2010.

In 2014, when volunteers lost contact with Ah Moi, they were worried. They made several visits to her home to look for her and enquired from her neighbours her whereabouts, but to no avail. After two months of searching, they finally learnt that the elderly’s relatives had arranged for her to move into a nursing home in Malim. Without any further information shared, volunteer Teng Siew Eng went from one nursing home to another in search for Ah Moi.

A life-changing journey

Having been forced to stay at the nursing home due to her illness, Ah Moi was filled with fear, anxiety and resentment. Her depression further deteriorated her health. When volunteers appeared in front of her eyes, she was surprised and happy. She cried and said to the volunteers, “I don’t have a home anymore. I thought nobody wants me anymore.” In her tearful recollection, Ah Moi said chokingly, “I had never thought that the volunteers would come searching for me in the nursing home.”

With the sudden appearance of volunteers, Ah Moi realized that their care and love for her had never ceased, and that she was never abandoned. The love she felt pulled her out of despair and she started to undergo rehabilitation exercises diligently.

When she returned home again after a seven-month stay at the nursing home, volunteers brought her some furniture, dinnerware, clothing and other items from home or recycling centre. Ah Moi was overwhelmed with mixed emotions, but she knew that the volunteers would always be there for her.

Determined to pass her love to the world

Each time the volunteers visited, Ah Moi would express her wish to donate her home to Tzu Chi for a good cause after her demise. She hoped that in her next life, she will be able to do good together with the volunteers. As she trusted Tzu Chi and the volunteers, she also entrusted them with her funeral arrangements.

Aware of her sense of insecurity and sadness at that time, volunteers kept comforting and encouraging her to focus on her recuperation first. In order to give her a peace of mind, they promised to accompany and care for her for the rest of her life. They also asked her not to be in a hurry to make the decision to donate her home, as it was something significant and that her health was more important.

However, Ah Moi had continually brought up the subject. After a year of her continued insistence, volunteer Yeo Chu Way asked her, “Sister, are you really serious about it?” and she replied, “Of course I am serious!”

Chu Way felt that while it is a good thing, the request must be handled with careful consideration and assessment. So she remained neutral in dealing with this. She said, “We volunteers are never involved with such donation. We just laughed it off every time she brought it up. However, she was persistent and had been repeating her wish consistently for a year. So eventually, we gave it a serious thought and discussed about it.”

In 2016, and upon Ah Moi’s persistence, Chu Way invited fellow volunteers, Saw Bee Tin, Yan Kep Pen and others, to discuss the matter with Ah Moi. During the visit, Ah Moi also openly talked about her funeral plans and entrusted the volunteers to help with the arrangements; and that her only asset, a flat, is to be donated to Tzu Chi. She said, “I want to do good. I am not asking for anything in return. I just want to do good!”

To meet again in the next life

Upon confirming Ah Moi’s intention to donate her home, the volunteers started seeking legal assistance in this matter. Each time they visited, Ah Moi would check on the progress eagerly. The volunteers worked hard to get a neutral trust agent and finally found a lawyer, Pang Siew Fian. With the help and support of the latter, the matter progressed smoothly.

For two years, Ah Moi’s wish to donate her home has never wavered. When she learnt that Tzu Chi is going to build an international school in Melaka, she made her own decision to donate her home to the school’s building fund. When Chu Way jokingly said, “We shall attend the school together as classmates in our next life, from kindergarten, primary school to secondary school,” Ah Moi happily nodded her head in response.

Volunteers and Ah Moi have established a strong bond after they accompanied the latter through the ups and downs in her life over the past seven years. Now, her life is no longer filled with tears and worries, but positive energy and happiness. She volunteers at Tzu Chi’s recycling centre in Ayer Keroh every Wednesday. “I am now very healthy. Recycling helps improve my health,” she happily said.

The power of love has helped Ah Moi to live a meaningful life with dignity. In return, she has chosen to pass on the love she has received through the donation of her home when life comes to an end. This way, her love will dwell in the world and create more ripples of love for the greater good of humanity.

 

During volunteers’ visit, Chan Ah Moi often expressed her wish to donate her home to charity after her demise. [Photograph by Hong Geok Hui]   The love from volunteers has pulled Chan Ah Moi out of despair and and motivated her to do good deeds. [Photograph by Hong Geok Hui]

During volunteers’ visit, Chan Ah Moi often expressed her wish to donate her home to charity after her demise. [Photograph by Hong Geok Hui]
 
The love from volunteers has pulled Chan Ah Moi out of despair and and motivated her to do good deeds. [Photograph by Hong Geok Hui]
 
Chan Ah Moi volunteers at Tzu Chi recycling centre in Ayer Keroh every Wednesday. [Photograph by Hong Geok Hui]   Chan Ah Moi embraced others emotionally when her wish has finally been realized. [Photograph by Loo Chia Chia]

Chan Ah Moi volunteers at Tzu Chi recycling centre in Ayer Keroh every Wednesday. [Photograph by Hong Geok Hui]
 
 
Chan Ah Moi embraced others emotionally when her wish has finally been realized. [Photograph by Loo Chia Chia]