Irreplaceable mom

News came from Malaysia in the morning that my mom, whose life was supported by the oxygen machine, has now rested in the peace of the Lord.

Her last words were few, as she couldn’t hardly eat, breathe or speak during her last stretch of life. It was quite amazing, however, that one day before she breathed her last,  she testified to my uncle in Australia over the phone, “Don’t worry, the Lord will take care of me.”

Mom had been wrestling with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis for 12 years. During those years, even under unfavorable health conditions, mom accomplished great and amazing things… She took care of her ailing mom until grandma passed away. She paid regular visits to her terminally-ill friend. She was the greatest encourager and intercessor for my brother who faced great challenges during his graduate school. She was highly supportive of ministries in the church. She never failed to visit families with new-born babies. She always kept her daily devotion with the Lord. She read the Bible diligently, and even completed her self-study of the Book of Ephesians and Book of Revelation with the help of solid Bible commentaries. She prepared every meal, and together with dad hosted numerous Bible study meetings at the home…

The tenancy of mom’s faith in the Lord was fostered during her single years, when she was sent by the Ministry of Education to teach at a suburban school on a hill, Chinese Elementary school of Simpang Rengan (端本华小). With precisely no other Christian friends to share her faith at where she was, mom thrived with a strong determination to keep her personal relationship with the Lord afresh daily. Our Lord God was in favor of mom and sent her special visitors every week. Trained in fluent Mandarin, two dedicated British missionaries came onto the hill to conduct weekly Worship Services. Joining mom occasionally at the services were the wife of the school’s principal, one other female teacher and the school’s secretary. As resources were scarce, no refreshment was served after the service except during Christmas time. That was one of mom’s very fond memories of the past.

Mom’s faith continues to grow over the years as she faithfully walked with the Lord … Finally, her faith shines brightest in the dark valley of suffocating lung disease. Mom’s health consistently deteriorated over the last 12 years, and in the past 9 months, she needed 24-hour breathing support of oxygen machine. Her activities were limited, and she could no longer attend church.  Hence, relatives and church’s friends frequented the house to visit her instead.

One of my closest friends Sherrina paid mom a visit, and shared with me that she was greatly encouraged after the visit. Sherrina was truly amazed that even though mom could not breathe like everybody else, mom never failed to smile graciously. Mom’s trade-mark smile was very genuine, full of peace, and entirely comforting. Anyone who visited mom will leave the house remembering her God-testifying smile.

Indeed, mom is precious. She is irreplaceable. Even though she has gone with the Lord. She will be remembered.

Last, I would love to quote Holley Gerth’s The World only Gets One You as the eulogy to my beloved mom.

You with your gifts.

You with your smile.

You with those things you do.

So take your place,

take your chances, *

take this moment to know…

You’ve got something to offer.

Something good and right and true.

Something God-given,

Heart-of-Heaven created.

And the rest of us need it, need you.

Oh, you think it’s no big deal.

Anyone could be that way.

Anyone could do it.


Not true.

There’s just one irreplaceable you.

* Mom had not only taken her chances, she seized all her days on earth to testify how a well-lived life in the Lord would be. She had a Big God. She therefore had a bright smile.


About Florence Kuek

Was lecturer and researcher at a state university. Currently serving as Head of Student Services at a college. Has a pastoral heart for people. PhD candidate, Chinese Studies at University of Malaya.
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9 Responses to Irreplaceable mom

  1. Jeannie Chen says:

    Thank you for sharing this Florence. Your mom is truly inspirational/exemplary. Thank God for our hope of reunion thus our grief is only temporary. May God’s love and peace envelop you and your family at this difficult time!
    In Him,

  2. james mA says:

    may god be with u all!

  3. Crystal Kuek says:

    Just to add the information: Mum started to use the oxygen concentrator starting from Jan 2011. Therefore, she had relied on the machine for 1 1/2 years before her death.

  4. Angela &Eric Lin says:

    Dear Florence,
    Thank you for sharing your mom’s perseverance, loving, kind and faithful spirit with us. We did see her through you. We thank God for knowing you and your Mom. May you and your whole family be comfort by Him. Take care. Angela & Eric Lin

  5. Dr Pee Tek CHAN says:

    Dear Chee Wee and Joseph, Chee Ying and Chiang Shiun and Siew May and your children,
    I am speaking from my Heart of Love in the name of the Lord, embracing you all and your father, Thye Eng in this hour of deep reflection on the meaning and great Love of your dear mother (my beautiful Sister) in her Great Transition.
    Her selfless devotion touches all of us deeply. I felt her Love from as young as I can remember. She was like my second mother. I was privileged to speak and share with her true Spirit hours before her passing. I know clearly what she said to me and what we communicated.
    It is with this deep honoured inspiration I want to express my reflections and to correct some mis-quotations in Florence’s Eulogy above. I hope Florence you know that I am speaking from Love.
    Your mother did not give a testament “Don’t worry, the Lord will take care of me.”
    She said something like this ….. “I am not afraid, I am at peace. Don’t worry. I know you love me very much and I love you. The children are in a good place and I can now go. Good Bye.” (This quote is not word for word but is the essence of what she said.)
    I thank you for respecting my reflections and corrections of your quotes.
    I am deeply aware that my heart is One with her Heart……
    Love and Blessings from the Highest Almighty
    Uncle Pee Tek

  6. Thank you all, and thank you uncle Pee Tek for providing what mom said exactly. Blessings from Washington DC metro to the Land of Kangaroos. 🙂

  7. I actually wrote about mom earlier in another blog post: “Best Things in Life are Free.”

  8. sia chooi yit says:

    Dearly Beloved Florence,Joe,
    july 3, 9.45pm

    Our most heartfelt condolences to you and family.
    may you take comfort of hope and strength in the Lord…SUCH A DEAR,DEAR WOMAN OF GOD
    memories of her life and the wonderful values for us to follow…
    of a sweet spirit with Strength….faith…wisdom…..talents….

    together with your dad and all of you,….. you will continue to shine for the Lord JUST AS YOUR
    MUM DID…

    Hope to write to you more when time permits……

    love and prayers,
    sherrina,weng yu,zan mei,ho zan na

    note; zan mei is playing violin now……COLOURS OF THE WIND…I dedicate it in remembrance
    of your mum….

  9. Pingback: Commenter Award | Harp of Ten Strings

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