Tuesday, January 7

My Grandpa, Chua Hong Han

This is gonna be sooooo emotional. Lo & behold, you've been warned.

My grandpa, fondly known as AhKong amongst grandchildren, is Chua Hong Han. He has passed away due to old age, yesterday morning, 6th January. *paused to tahan tears*. This blog post is dedicated to him and all the good memories he gave me. 

When i was a little girl, life was poor. My dad has to go Indonesia to work. So we stayed at AhKong's house. So, my childhood revolves around my mother, grandparents and my beloved uncles James and Junior. Ah Kong, is a fisherman, but he also works on the paddy field. How does that happen? I don't know, the people of those days are really hardworking! 

I do not get to see him in the morning, because he wakes up really early. He has a car, usually in mustard yellow color. He will drive to work. His car was sold or disposed about 20years ago, but i remembered very vividly. It was a 4 door with rubbery cushion and sponge, with roller window and thin skinny gear rod. The steering wheel is skinny too. How do I remember so well? He never locks his car door, i will sneak inside and play driving driving. 

During the evening about 3pm or 4pm, AhKong will be home. He will sit at the dining table, demanding for kuih for teatime. Usually at this hours too, Uncle Lim will appear with groceries and some nyonya kuih from Tengkera. I always seen Uncle Lim around, in and out of our home. Uncle Lim then married my eldest aunty. That was the first wedding I attended without knowing. So, AhKong was a kopi O lover. He will carry two water containers to work, 1 contains plain water and the other, kopi O. Sometimes when i will force myself to wake up very early to drink Ahkong's kopi O. Usually i get scolded because its too hot and kopi O is not for small kids. AhKong introduced me my favourite tea break menu- Kopi O with So Ta Pia. Until today, i enjoyed it. He will drink kopi O and make the 'ahhhhhh' sound to make me laugh. Thats how much i enjoy my tea break moment. Shamefully, at later stage of life, he couldnt drink kopi O already due to vertiligo that makes him dizzy and unbalanced.

The next thing which I'm going to reveal is my biggest secret. AhKong and I can spend hours together, watching Hokkien Hee (hokkien drama). Uncle Lim used to rent tapes for AhKong, and during his resting hours, i will sit with AhKong for his hokkien hee session. The hokkien hee is those traditional ones, with dancing and singing ala bollywood. I cant remember clearly the style of the hokkien hee, but as a child(until age 6), i enjoyed stealing moms dress and AhMak's cloths to make selendang and dance. You know, those opera style and the hand pusing pusing moves. It was so embarassing because everybody seems to think its funny and teased me. Hence i put this memory into the my brain's safety box and lock it away. Come to think of it, i think it is AhKong who disturb me and gave me a selendang then tease me. That old man is the mastermind of practical jokes, i tell you! 

I inherited similar traits from my AhKong. We both have thunderous temper, we love sambal, kopi O, ice water, ice cream, fruits of various kinds. One thing for sure, family dinner time will never be the same. As he grew older, weaker, lonelier, and sadder, he became a difficult person to deal with. And for this, i admit that i have not done better as a grandchildren. I never regret for not loving you enough, i regret you had such a hard days of late. I'm sorry AhKong!

If there's one thing I will give you, i will pray with all my heart, you will be surrounded with love in your next life. I will pray that your thunderous temper will be harmonised by people who loved you tremendously. I will pray for that, i promise you this. 

I love you, and do take care. Death is just an another adventure, *waves goodbye* i will never forget you! 


1 comment:

atreyustrange said...

I'm sorry to hear about it, Nicole. I can't help but think of my late grandma when I read this. It's still difficult to hold back tears even until this day.