Saturday, January 28

In loving memory...

Maternal Grandma Tan Kim Kee 陈金枝(1930-2006)

Departed 26.01.06

Dearest Grandma,

I never realised you would leave so soon that afternoon, or I would have rushed to the hospital immediately. Oddly enough, I was on the train at Outram Park MRT Station during your final moments. I was terribly shocked to meet your body at the ward, but I was consoled that your many years of struggle with multiple illnesses (kidney failure, lung and heart problems) had come to a restful end.

You left so soon, I shouldn't have left for dinner the last time I saw you. Your parting return gift to me of $20 was certainly appreciated, yet even without it I already have more than enough. I have so many memories of you, as you have too. Alas, time and death has taken its toll. Was it just mere coincidence when I noticed the clock in your room had stopped exactly at the time you left this world - 5.13 pm? A premonition gone unnoticed.

You cared for me so much when I was just a small boy - I remember the Collon, Pocky and Hello Panda biscuits, among other items you bought when you visited us... the times we shared eating kway chap and wanton mee at the coffeeshops downstairs... the origami planes, boats, frogs and boxes you taught me to fold... so many memories.

You loved to cook - I forever cherish your dishes knowing I'll never be able to enjoy them anymore. Popiah, chicken rice, gnor hiong, lor mee, prawn noodles, nian gao, clams, fish - I love them all. Similarly, you took great pleasure in eating, enjoying a sumptuous variety of food all through your walk of life. You promised me that we would go out together for a big sumptuous lunch once you were well. I knew deep inside me that it could never happen, but I so admired your optimistic outlook on life. Hope you enjoyed all the dishes I bought for you during my visits to the hospital: ice jelly, chicken rice, siew mai, popiah and more.

Then, you were afflicted with kidney failure and had to undergo dialysis. Your will to live was strong, despite all these difficulties. You peservered on through each pain, each cramp, each ache. The tears in your eyes, and your failing memory over the last few days made me cry, seeing how much you were suffering yet how little I could do to help. You asked me to cut or remove the restraining strings that bound your hands onto the bed, but I reluctantly didn't do it - for your own good. You cared so much about our wellness and whether we had eaten. Were you waiting for me when you were about to leave? I can never be more sorry I promised to see you again soon. By the time I next came, it was too late.

Rest assured that your children, grand-children, and great-grand-children will take care of themselves and that we have all we want to live happily and adequately. I really miss your laughter, your jovial personality, your singing, your smile. My first original song composition I dedicate to you: "Vivid Dreams" with its theme of hope. I have also compiled a CD with 15 of your favourite songs and distributed a copy each for your children's families. In addition, your grand-daughter Jasmine has made a video clip as a tribute to your final journey on earth, with your favourite song "Qian Wo De Shou" in the background. I really regret not having the privilege to play your favourite songs on my electone organ for you... just for that one last time. It has been so long since you heard me play. Don't worry about me, I will work hard and eat hard.

Life has been so different these past days without you - I'm still adapting to it. Rest in peace... I'll see you again there in the heavenly realms. I'll always have you in my mind - forever. Be with me, my beloved one.

Loving you always,

Your grandson Edwin


Post a Comment

<< Home