This post is a tribute specially for one of the few ppl who really loves me, unconditionally. He is my paternal grandpa, and he left us on Sept 11 2010, 0310 hrs – peacefully. It takes me awhile to blog this down, as things are stil very much vivid in my memories, hard enuf for me to let go.
I knew him probably when my strangers anxiety strikes in, around 9-12 months maybe. He was a super-dad to me at that time. Reason why, coz i used to compare him to my dad in terms of height, voice, and even strength. Obviously, he’s more superior in those terms than my dad. I knew him amply enuf , after been through thick n thin together for 25 yrs. Yes, as long as my elder brother was brought up, he’s been staying wit us travelling around leading a nomadic life, when he cud hav been actually living in Penang island where deep inside his heart i know, is stil his home, our home..It’s his love to us that he chose to live with us travelling to various places where we once lived in.
He first stepped on Penang island at the age of 10, when first came to Penang island together with his father after those tough times back in China. He managed to get formal education til standard 6, tat’s when Japanese took over our country. I rmr always he used to tell me how things goes very very bad during the Japanese colonisation, and how much it affect his penang chinese community. Being a young boy me, of course those doesnt matter to me at all. All i always look forward are those sweets , chewing gums, gameboy where he cud spent really much with his limited $$ on 3 of us. Yet, it was always not enuf for me.
Being the most mischievious boy in the family, those strokes from ‘rotan’/ unbrella/ sticks were once also stinged on his skin as well,when trying to stop the repetitive action which ached his heart. Only then, when he bathed me to realise all the markings on my skin, were also on his skin as well when he was young. Being the bygoner, then i knew he changed his mind that i deserves those beatings for being such a devil boy. Watching me growing up from those beatings, prolly he thinks that those beatings that makes me a ‘lokter’ today.
During my primary schooling days, i rmr how much effort he pedaled me to school and back by his bicycle. Of course i enjoy that more compared to sitting in the car. Once awhile, he wud spent few pennies for icecream, on the way back, when i told me i kena again from my teacher. I never really carried my school bags, wash my plates, my shoes back in when i was in primary school. All thanks to him. This of course got my mom mad, for being so pampered in the house. Things never really got undone in the house, as he’s those that kinda OCD fella, rushing for everything to clean this and that. Its when his way and his in-law’s way clashes that sparks those arguments everytime. Who is me to care for those, and of course my dad always came in, half heartedly to solve it.
As i grew mature, as i learn the ways of taking care of ppl, i tried to apply on him, but of course to no prevail. Being a hot-headed chinaman, he never needs any care from ppl. Only role that he plays always on us as a Giver. But being too much as a Giver, its hard sometimes. Then only i found out that old man can be hard sometimes, then only to realise how much patience to deal with old ppl.
Not to boast around, i knew he is always very proud of me and my siblings, being from academically, and outdoor achievements. He may not know how many As i’ve scored, but he always knew that we were there to present each time during ‘Hari Anugerah Kecemerlangan’, He knew the day i got ‘anugerah’ from DYMM, He knew the day i came back with black belt, and medals from tourneys. All these are being spread to his relatives and children back to Penang, and even all our neighbours. Ppl may think he likes to boast, but i think he is really god darn proud of me n my siblings.The day when i finally graduate from my studies, he was all smiles, all day long. In fact i rmr, my mom was telling me he’s there ready with his attire as early as 8am when my convocation is in the afternoon. To see his grandson graduated as a doctor, mus be something too dubious to believe, judging from the way he saw me growing up.
As i got my offer to be posted to Taiping, he knew that i’ll be away for sometime.For the past 1 year i’ve worked, nothing really come as priority as compared to my work. Perhaps, it is my naive foolish thought that i’ve seconded down my family in my priority list that i neglected him. After i left, my younger brother also left to UK, and there’s no one else at home as both my parents stil in China. It was a big impact for him.
Lately 2 months before his death, i noticed that he called me more frequent than before. Asked bout my being, and things at work. Well, of course i never lamented to him, as how he never did that for 25 yrs i knew him. Then, i knew something wrong for the first time when he told me, he is sick, in a very delicate tone. N straight i called my parents who happened to be in KL to find out wat’s wrong wit him in Penang. That same day my parents reached Penang,and only to found out that they brought my grandpa to hospital. Something is really really bad going on i knew. Its then when my dad forwarded me the Ultrasound scan and Ct abdomen scan, I was really petrified. Mixed of guilt as well as scared just rushed in. For a moment, how i wish it is somehow fake.
It took me 1 week, to be able to go back to Penang after the scan as i was really really busy with my medical posting. Through daily conversation with my parents via phone, i knew time is running fast. I finally had a short weekend break, and to go back to see him. The first glimpse at him, i won’t be seeing the same man again. The malignant cells is killing him day by day, and i can see this previous fit as a fiddle man, can even to stand up. He is mumbling to himself occasionally, partially hallucinated by Morphine to ease his pain which is killing him even faster. But, he knew my presence. I can remember vividly how he tried to wake up and tried to take a good glance again at me as he used to each time i went back. Its really heart-wrenching to see him this way. I didn really want to look at him, as i knew i myself sure cannot take it. The same day, i took him to hospital by ambulance as i can see he’s really dehydrated.
I left back to Taiping after the next day to see him again in hospital. I was in tears the whole journey back to Taiping, and each time i thought of seeing him that way. I myself didn’t really look at him, as i knew i sure cannot take it. I kept in touch wit my mother who then nursed him everyday until the day he left us. It took only 4 weeks from the time he had complaint of abdominal pain, point of diagnosis to the day he left..only a mere 4 weeks. 4 weeks is really, really very short for a man like him to progress. That night, i was still on-call when i received that solemn call from my mother. I didn have a chance to be with him at the last breath. I felt really guilty, for so many reasons..
Perhaps you left us too fast. It was just like yesterday when i saw you happily rushed out to the gate to welcome me and helped to carry my bags. But now no more…
I am not sure how have you been doing on the other side, perhaps u mus be happier together with grandma, and not to be disappointed by me who didn really look after u and appreciate u well enuf when u are around. I always wished until today that i’ll be able to dream of u each night before i sleep, but u never appears. If only u’re around again, how i wish i will be able to hug u for once to say thanks for everything u made me for past 25 yrs, and apologize for all my mistakes that i hurt u before.
Life has too many unexpected twists and turns, and ur departure is one of the biggest in my life.
I miss u dearly, grandpa. Please take care…