Suffering we must expect

In Memoriam (11.11. 1987—3.9.2015)

A brave young lady who lived life fully & touched so many lives with her faith in the Lord!

My name is PEARLYN TAN. I’m 27, my doctor thinks I’m 17 but Mum says I act like I’m 7.   Go figure. . .     I’m a girl born with Biliary Atresia. I underwent the  Kasai Portoenterostomy in 1988 and had my first liver transplant in 2014.  Unfortunately, I developed issues with my bile ducts and I currently am back on the waiting list for another liver donor as I need my second transplant. Wait with me, pray for me.

Reading her thoughts, I could  not help  but marvel at the graces given her. A good friend of mine commented that here was a lovely young lady who desired to live fully.  At the same time we know that there are many others who do not seem to know what to make of their own lives. If we have but eyes to see and ears to hear, we might all appreciate our own lives better, and with more gratitude.

Somehow, I know that she will bring about the conversion of many souls, and that will include her own loved ones. Most of the people at the funeral Mass were young adults, and it was also evident that amongst them were many who have not come to know the Saviour of us all.

Last Sunday I met her brother Andy and her loved ones. He was the one who had shared the joy of being a Catholic to her after his Baptism in 2013. He was also the one who gave a portion of his liver to her . . . When we spoke at the wake on  two occasions, I was simply struck by the confidence with which he carried himself. He was ready for prayers and he did a good job of the tasks entrusted to him. A fine young man of 30!

Yes, this is good witnessing. Last weekend, I saw Andy and he was so gentle with his mother so much so that I feel almost certain that she will soon want lessons. She would want to learn more about the Saviour of the world, and she would want also  to fall in love with our Lord Jesus, the Holy One whom her late daughter  now continues to love for all eternity.

So often I think to myself: How very true that suffering is part and parcel of our call to discipleship. No servant can be greater than the Master. And our dear Pearlyn did suffer in a very special way for some 26 years. I read that most patients with such a sickness like what she had – Biliary Atresia – would not live beyond 20. In this sense, our good Lord has blessed her with another seven years. How grateful we must be for the gift of Pearlyn in the community even if it was for a short time.

May your soul, dear Pearlyn Tan, through the mercy of God, rest in peace! Amen.