I'm safe upcountry, having left at 3AM and getting here around 7:30. On the way up, I could tell that this day is going to be very bad for anyone leaving after 5AM as the usual spots like the Saraburi hill, the Pak Chong hill, and the new construction near the big reservoir were jammed, even in the middle of the night. That's the good news.
The bad news is that during my drive up, I got word that Pond, my maid of 17 years died yesterday. She had been seeing the doctors for a heart problem, and was scheduled for an followup appointment tomorrow. In fact, when she left Thursday after cleaning my condo, she seemed happy and in a good mood. Yesterday, I sent her some bonus money to help her return home for the holidays. To hear that she died in her sleep is a big shock as she was like part of the family. She was only 48, way too young but she had a hard life. She was looking forward to building a house in the country to retire and already bought some land with her savings and a loan from me. Now it looks like that will never materialize. Really sad.
Pond is typical of many in the land of smiles. She is from the poor Northeast, had no schooling or job skills, and wasn't blessed with great looks. So her only job skills were cleaning and working as a maid. The work is hard, the salaries are low, and there is no safety net if things go badly. The government hospitals and doctors are not the best and in this case, it wasn't enough to help her. So the life of many on the lower economic and social rungs is simply as the title of today's blog says: Life is hard, and then you die. There is no one to help you and unless you have some luck (i.e. you were born smart or beautiful, etc.), there is no upwards mobility.
She will be cremated tomorrow at noon and unfortunately we cannot attend. We did send some money for her coffin and flowers as her family is also quite poor.
Thanks Pond, for you many years of loyal service. B and I will never forget you and may you have a joyous peace and rest.