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  • July 2010, family wedding in Edinburgh and a bit of summer holiday for everyone. We resented having to drive four hours to and back to drop her off in Oban. It seemed so far, so out of the way. Not exactly the fun day trip we were looking for. Throughout the drive, we kept wondering, ”Why do we have to stop at Glen Coe? Can we somehow convince her of alternative stops?”

    At long last, we made it to the Three Sisters (of Glen Coe), it was breath taking, but we were cold, hungry and itching to hurry on.

    A few months later, PET scans confirmed recurrence. She bravely set off to face the battle again. Every update from Dr. E, begins with the subject: "I am well". Re-reading her emails one year later, it is obvious what I wilfully did not want to acknowledge then.

    February 2012, I flew to Hong Kong to spend what time I could with her. She's been hospitalised since November. We watched TV and played mah-jong. Her room became Central Perk, friends and family are always there. I learned more about my aunt, my mentor and supporter -- her strength, unyielding, even in her diminished form. I also learned that she had already picked a place where she would like to be laid to rest.

    July 2012, her husband and closest friends took her to the final resting place -- a spot she picked out a couple years ago -- the Three Sisters, Glen Coe. She knew.

    I missed what she was trying to tell us then. I missed the opportunity to be truly present with her when we were there. I could only think about the long drive back.

    I dedicate my first story here to my dearest Aunt. Reliving past moments is an oxymoron. But I can strive to take in as much as I can in future moments, and be present when in company of those I love and cherish.
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