Befriending a Refugee
I taught a young refugee English and we became friends over a three year period. I learned that she had breast cancer and took her to appointments and treatments during this time. I was asked if l could help her. She lived in my home for seven and a half months. During this time I took her out to experience things she had never done; we went to the ballet, concerts, galleries, Phillip Island, Dandenongs, markets, beaches, restaurants, and cafes. As she became worse I became her full-time caregiver. We enjoyed what time she had left. Finally, I took her to palliative care where she stayed for a month. I visited her every day, bringing food and doing her washing. Along with others, I prayed with her. I promised to be with her till the end as did her pastor and others who loved her. After many years of fighting this tragic disease of cancer, she died at the age of 34. She was buried in a public cemetery and a few of her closest friends were present. At the memorial service, over 80 people came to pay their respects; the impact she had on everyone's life was enormous. I will always remember her courage and beautiful smile. She became like my daughter. Ailee taught me more than I could ever give: love, patience, courage, and compassion. She had a hard life but she said the last few months were the best she ever had!