Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Struggle Ends For 'Netty'

Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, May 29, 2007
This is a difficult time for my extended family in Bangkok. My girlfriend, Aw just told me that her 'younger brother' Netty' has died. He was battling brain cancer for the past two years. Aw is crying just now on the phone but she says they she is happy for Natty because the pain is finally over. Two days ago he suffered a heart attack and was rushed to the hospital where he remained in Intensive care until his death. This is the last photo I took of Natty. We were celebrating Songkran; the water festival, and he had a great time; shooting squirt-guns at his family while being smeared with white powder. Aw and I took Natty to the movies a couple of days later and sat on either side of him as we watched one of the most powerful and violent movies I have ever seen; 'The 300'; a movie about the Spartan warriors of ancient Greece. Natty kept turning to me during the movie, smiling and enjoying the action as he munched popcorn. He loved video games and movies and had a wonderful sense of humor.
The Buddhist tradition calls for the family to visit the Temple for the next three days. Then Natty's body will be cremated in a Buddhist Celebration and his ashes will be returned to the waters of Bangkok.
This is a doubly hard time for the family because Aw's Uncle just died a couple of weeks ago. I mentioned 'Poung'
in my recent post; 'Songkran Family'. Poung died of a stroke. I wish I could be with Aw and her family right now but it gives me a lot of comfort to know that they are such a close family and really know how to take care of each other in hard times. It also reminds me how much I appreciate my own family and how much I cherish this time here with them. I lived a lot of years away in Alberta but I felt a strong need to be back here to reconnect with them; especially with my Mom. Life is fleeting but my family here and my family in Bangkok help me to appreciate every moment.

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