A Tribute To A Cancer Soilder – Rest In Peace Aiya 

My tribute to my beautiful grandmother 

2016… Her 77th birthday which she unfortunately had to spend in hospital. That didn’t stop dad and I from throwing her a mini party. Look at that smile!!!

Please note: 

  • Aiya is the colloquial tamil word for grandmother. 
  • Thatha is the tamil word for grandfather.

Let me start by saying this is undeniably one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to write. This isn’t a perfectly written tribute with on point punctuation and top notch vernacular- it is a story of pain and the loss of one of the greatest woman I’ve ever known… and is one of the greatest pain my family has felt.

On behalf of my parents, uncles and aunts and all of aiya’s grandkids and great grandkids, I would like to thank you all for coming today to share in our sorrow, but also to celebrate aiya’s wonderful life. To see so many pay their respects is a testament to how many lives aiya touched. My grandmother was a pretty special woman who lived a rich, long life filled with challenges, love and adventure.

What do I say about my aiya? Where do I begin? My aiya, Logie Singh as you all knew her, was born on July 1st 1939. She came from simple beginnings, she worked tirelessly throughout her life often doing what most would deem a man’s job. A woman of her generation to be as independent as she was.. let’s face it, it was something unheard of. When we lost thatha 11 years ago, I lived with aiya for a while before she moved in with aunty Ranjeni and uncle Babs. It was during this time that I got to know my grandmother all over again. Today when I look back at those simple memories of her fetching me from school and having that after school snack waiting in the car, or hearing stories of all the match making thatha and her had orchestrated…or simply hearing her call me “yoneets” the way only she would… today I realise those memories weren’t so simple after all.

It was 8 years ago that her cancer journey began, when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Most people would want to crawl into a corner and not face the harsh reality of what lied ahead of them, in fact most would look at it as a death sentence… but not my grandmother!!! She looked it dead on and fought with all her might.  She accepted this lifestyle change, and She had all the determination to win this battle. And she did… after 5 years she was cancer free. Unfortunately, that victory was short lived, not long thereafter she was diagnosed with spine cancer…but that didn’t stop her determination to recover. When doctors told her she had 6 months to live, aiya once again proved her strength and saw another 2 years. Such was the will power and strength my grandmother possessed. 

So I ask everyone to please remember my grandmother as that strong, independent, beautiful woman with that heartwarming smile she always had on her face. Because to me, my grandmother never lost her battle against cancer… I know it wore down her body and exhausted her strength but it could never dim her smile. Cancer could not beat aiya..it never stood a chance. 

Aiya if you are listening… thank you for loving us so unconditionally, Thank you for giving your family 77 glorious years with you, but most importantly thank you for fighting so fiercely to be with us. You were this family’s strength and you will live on in each and every one of us. In the days leading up to your passing, you often told me how tired you were… so today as much as my heart is broken, I’m comforted knowing you are safe in God’s arms… and most especially you have been reunited with thatha. Go well aiya, I love you.

First Graduation – 2013


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