Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day...

Short Note: This is a backdated post written way back on Valentine's Day.

Valentine's Day is celebrated by many couples or lovers in the world. It is a day for the lover to express their love to each other.

However, today, I'm not going to dedicate this page to my lover... I would like to dedicate this to the one whom I love, the one who has seen me grow up, the one who has left me for a better place on the New Year's Eve 2008. The person is no other than my beloved, Po Po (maternal grandmother).

Dearest Po Po,

Today is another Saturday. Like usual, we went to Gong Gong's house (maternal). However, the house is no longer the same like before. I could feel the emptiness in the house. Few months back, we could still argue with you in Hakka, we could still see you smiling or laughing, we could still have dinner with you. But this afternoon, we could only have Gong Gong to welcome us at the door step...

It has been two months since you left us. The day when you decided to leave us, I was still experiencing my first time offshore. That very morning, I went out to the platform to learn some of the things from my colleague. Just when I stepped back to the living quarter, my name was called by the Radio Operator and I was instructed to head over to the OIM's (Offshore Installation Manager) office instantly. I thought the OIM just wanted to have a talk with me. Unfortunately, I was told that you had left me and I was given the permission to fly back immediately using a special directed flight.


I was stunned for a moment. My mind went blank. All I could think of is to straightaway ask the Radio Operator to connect a call to Baba and told him about my flight back in the afternoon. When I recalled back, that morning, one of my eyes was twitching. Was that a sign given by you to inform me about your departure? I packed everything and couldn't wait to go back immediately. A lot of things ran through my mine at that time. I just couldn't believe I have lost you...

When I reached Gong, Gong's house, instead of rushing to your room to share my offshore experience with you, I saw some white clothes were hung up on top of the front door, your photo was put on a table in between two candles and some joss sticks were placed in front of your photo. Cousins were burning some "money" for you, uncles and aunties were busy with visitors, folding the "money" and etc. I knew I have to burn some joss sticks for you to pay my respect but at that very moment, I just had a blank mind. Luckily Ah Foon Yee Yee gave me a hint.


After burning few joss sticks for you and telling you that I was back, I went to take a look at you in your new bed. You were lying motionless as if you were taking a nap or having your sleep. Your mouth was wide opened... That was exactly how you sleep on your bench but this time, you wouldn't wake up anymore when I greeted...


Po Po, I know you wouldn't be around anymore. Gong Gong is so sad that he cried over and over again. I felt the same. I wanted to cry at times but I just couldn't do so. I know I have to be tough, or else, many would break down too...


Po Po, although you've left me physically, I'll never forget the memory you had given me. Besides Mama and Baba, you're one of the first few to look after me when I was born. You even stayed at Baba's house to take care of Mama and me during Mama's confinement.

I can still remember how you put me to sleep in my "yao yao" under the staircase. You sang to me and read me stories while I slowly fell asleep. I often prefer you to put me to sleep rather than Mama as you can sing better and you really made sure that I sleep before you stopped singing or reading stories.

Sis and I just love to go shopping with you. You never failed to buy anything that we want. Choc, snacks, breads, we wanted it, you would buy it. Remember Choon Cheong Supermarket, Chen Soon Grocery Store, Ng Sian Hup Supermarket or Sii Yi Jie Supermarket? Those are the supermarkets that you like to frequent for grocery.


As time goes by, your health was getting worse especially your rheumatism. It's the worst when Ah Tai (great grandmother) passed away. That was when I was 13 years old. I knew you were very sad at that time, just like how I'm feeling now.
You cried days and nights... Your pair of eyes just couldn't take it. In the end, you had to have your eyes being sewn. I was like, "Oh no! Po Po is going blind? Po Po will not be able to see us again?" You were just too brave and had a strong will to recover. Within months, the thread was taken off and you could open your eyes once again. Nevertheless, your eyesight or vision was not as good anymore...

Not only that, your rheumatism was giving more trouble to you. You complained more about the unbearable pain on your pair of legs. Soon, you gave up walking. The whole day, you would stay in your room on your rattan bench. You ate on your rattan bench, you slept on your rattan bench. You could not even walk to the toilet. Only with the "modified mobile toilet bowl" and the help from Gong Gong to carry you and place you on the toilet bowl, then only you could do your daily relieve.


Po Po, I think you've really suffered a lot in these past 10 years. I just can't imagine how tough life you were having. Just imagine how much medicine you had to take would make me scare... Is that the reason that you decided to leave?

Po, although you've left, I would not forget the last few days when I was with you before I went offshore. I also wouldn't forget the day I spent with you before you lost consciousness. Remember I asked you what you want to eat and I would buy for you? You said you don't want anything. Then I teased you by asking you if you want any birdnest porridge. You replied yes if I bought it for you. I'm sorry I couldn't do so just before you leave...

There was one day when you lost your consciousness, I fed you with water using straw. You thought I was fitting your fake teeth. You kept asking me when did I fit the fake teeth for you. You thought I fit it in while feeding you. When I asked you why you want your fake teeth in. You replied, "If not, how to eat?" Not only that, when I told you that you look prettier with your teeth, you agreed!


Po ah, have you reunited with Ah Lan Yee Yee and also Ah Tai and Tai Gong (great grandfather)? I guess Ah Lan Yee Yee is now taking care of you eh? Do send my regards to them. Now I think you can walk around, shopping here and there and enjoy your favourite food! Have you had your Braised Pork Leg or your "Khou Rou"? You can now have as much as you can. Oh, I think you're planting some flowers in your garden now eh? That's one of the activities you like most besides singing. Don't forget to let me picture your garden in my dream ok?

Don't worry about Gong Gong and Ah Woon Jiu Jiu. They're fine here. We would take care of them. Gong Gong seems not really that jovial anymore without you here. He just misses you a lot just like how everyone of us here does. Now that Ah Foon Yee Yee has come back to Miri, at least, there's someone to look after Gong Gong. She also always brings him out so that he could be happier...

Po, in this letter to you, I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for being such an awesome Po Po. You're the most wonderful Po Po one would hope for I must say. I will remember the thing that you've taught me and also the memories that you've left for me. I would also like to apologise to you if I didn't do enough as a grandson. I know, compare to what you've done as a Po Po, what I've done as a grandson would never be enough...

Till our next meeting... take care, Po Po. I love you...


Always your grandson,

Wei Wei


I would like to end this post with a short video clip - Po Po's singing. This video clip was taken one or two weeks before I went offshore. She had lost her consciousness and she just kept singing non-stop...



Now, do you agree with me that my Po Po could really sing?

P/s: Thanks for everyone's concern in my previous post. I haven't fully come back yet but I guess one day I will. Please bear with me. I need more time...

6 comments:

ilene said...

You know and I know what you are going through. Take care Kok!

Jesslyn said...

Time is the best medicine!

Take care, dear friend!

Dav DiDi said...

Very nice letter ... So sorry to hear that ...

ANyway, take care & don't think too much ...

Sasha said...

*hugs*

Jo-N said...

Hi, not sure whether you remember me or not. But just stopped by your blog again, and re-read this post for your grandma.. It's very very touching and raw.

Good luck in your writing.

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