A 36years old middle aged woman, charismatic, smiling always and one could never be angry with when she put a charming smile on her face. Her spontaneous guffaw could ease ones’ tensed moments almost instantaneously. That is Anne; I mean that is what she was, not only to me but possibly to anyone known to her.
So, on Monday 30-3-09 morning at 8.30 when I received a call from Uncle Vincent (Anne’s dad) telling me she was no more with us, I was speechless for a moment, shattered by the worst news that I had ever come across in the recent years. How could it be, what happened, when, why, so on and so forth, were the many questions I wanted to ask. But I couldn’t, refused to believe despite the fact the informer is her own father. I took some time to compose myself, asking Uncle Vincent when she left us. Uncle said it was on Wednesday 25th march due to an accident and the funeral was held on Friday. I felt more distressed this time, for missing to see or bid her farewell even in final hours of her lifeless journey. Anyway still being doubtful, I searched for the number of her closest friend Norjan, who confirmed was it true my dearest friend Anne had passed away. (The 2 hand-phones she used to carry had gone missing, being the reason why many friends including me were not contactable in time)
Yesterday (Tuesday) I traveled to her place at Ulu Tiram, Johor to pay my respect. When I reached at her house, it was her photo, instead of her to receive me. Even in the photo she looked so lively with her trademark smile. Only her parents were there, her husband was out to buy things. Placing the garland I bought around her photo, I tried in vain to control my tears. It was painful, really painful to come to term with the loss of my best friend so soon and so sudden. Being a man I didn’t expect myself to weep but that was what I apparently did in the presence of her beloved parents. My heart wrenched with sorrows added by the emotional pain of her parents who had lost their only child and daughter.
Anne Vinodhini Vincent Muthu was no ordinary friend; she was someone very special to me. It was eight years ago when I first got to know her. I employed her as my marketing staff in my company then. Cheerful and lively, the 28 years young woman soon became the top marketer, becoming my favourite staff. Her fluency in Mandarin and the charm to win even difficult customers often put my others staff in amazement and very often envious.
As in the case of any employer who rewards his deserving staff, I too recognized her strength by promoting her to assist me in my office administrative work. Over the next few years, she learned quite a lot of things in running a business. It was during this time, we became close friends. She would always buy gifts or presents not only for me but also for my children and wife during Christmas, birthdays and valentine days. Our bonding was genuine and she had always regarded me as her mentor. When my business faced with difficulties she was all the way there stood by my side. Only much later, she opted to venture into her own business.
There are many fond memories about Anne. Once I had a severe cough, very persistent lasted for days. That particular day I was in my room doing my work while coughing badly. Realizing the suffering I was in, Anne quickly went to the nearest shop to get some lozenges for me. It was so kind of her, and I was so appreciative for her thoughtfulness.
The other memorable event was, when she organized a surprise birthday party for me with the help of all my staff. It was my first grand birthday party involving non-family members; nevertheless I’ve always regarded Anne as my family member. The party was indeed one of my sweetest moments, courtesy of Anne.
I’m naturally very selective of my friends. I do not have big circle of them. A very few to name amongst and Anne was one but by all means she was no ordinary. She was my best friend and my only confidante so to say. Can she be replaced? I don’t think so; her care, her kindness and her zest that larger than her life, how could all that ever be replaced? Like she once told in her card to me, “thanks 4 changing my life in so many ways that is almost unforgettable even in another 100yrs to come; please remember no matter what happens in future you will be somebody that I will always keep in my heart.”
In so acknowledging her conviction, I shall now say, “though you are no more with us in this world, let me assure you; you kindness and loving friendship will always remain vivid in my thoughts until my last breadth."
And as I finished writing this eulogy in honour of you, my daughter Divhyia started reading it with tears in her eyes confessing she too missed you very much. My wife said she still could not believe this had happened to you. I know above all no words are enough to comfort your beloved family and friends who mourn your passing.
However deep in my heart, my dearest friend,
I believe god has better plans for you, perhaps he called you home too soon because he too needed an angle like you to cheer him up.
“May God Bless your soul and peace be upon you”
p.s: I invite all friends known to Anne to share your thoughts here. You may post your thoughts as comment or article. For your articles to appear here please email them to firstname.lastname@example.org