I got a confession to make. When I was very small, my mader always tell me story about Hansel and Gretel. But her version is damn scary wei. You know, the mader of the 5xmom, sure double kerng. She told me the old witch fatten up the kids and then, kreaaakkk, kreakk…kreakkkk…she chews off the finger bones. Finger by finger. Each day, she ate parts by parts. Toes, then the flesh….
My mom is not English literate and I am not Mandarin literate so there is no bed-time stories book but her own cerita. So, night after night, this mader of mine told me the same old crunchy fingers story. We don’t get Disney Channel, RTM pun tarak, TV pun tarak. So, I don’t know how many years my mom poisoned my mind with the same crispy, crunchy fingers, story.
Then, I got two neighbours’ grandmas who are super weird. One is a strict Nyonya who must have her baju Nyonya starched and ironed and the other is a super thin, sanggol grandma. Very much like my mom’s description lah. Those witches story? (God bless their souls)
After that, when my father was ailing, I wasn’t allowed to visit him at the hospital. So, all I remember about my father was a sick, ailing old man and a dead body. Some distance memory that old people die and they are scary. I have no father figure, sort of.
Next in my list of scary old folk is my father in-law. He got cancer of the stomach, was very sick and we fast-forward our wedding before he died. That time, I not yet ‘kam cheng’ with my father-in-law. So, again, scary old, sick man.
But you know what happened to the story teller? My mader lah. She sendiri diam-diam passed away while she was in good health. So, she was a picture of health to me. No scary old lady munching on little kids fingers. Pandai hor? Take a supersonic jetplane to heaven with no baggages. (actually it was very sad lah) Never even say goodbye, one night here, next few hours gone.
Then, it is my mother-in-law’s moment. I also not very ‘kam cheng’ with my MIL. Cannot help it cos feelings must come naturally. She got a stroke, in coma and was in the old folks home for a long time. Physically, I never take care of her when she was very, very ill. Scary, right? What if she opened her eyes and suddenly, bite my fingers?
And I have always been afraid of old people. Whether alive or sick or deceased ones. I have put four of them into the coffin, Taoist style, wearing clothes, feeding them etc (the corpses I mean). Taoist funerals are very freaky one.
Please pardon my way of describing the above. But today, I have passed that hurdle. I just visited my sister’s father-in-law. They almost arranged his funeral yesterday but today, he is rather alert. He is very old and very sick. But being a big boss of a dimsum restaurant, his will is still very strong and not giving up, just yet.
I don’t know what prompted me. But I walked over to him, spoke in Cantonese, which I have the vocab of a 3 years old. I told him, “Charn-kah-lou-yeh….Ngo hai Amy’s mui. Lei hou dik mei?”
He nodded. I held his warm and strong palms. I carried on speaking to him. He is wearing an oxygen mask but he is not cooperative and had pulled out every other tubes. Feeding tube, IV line, everything attached to him. He insisted to feed by mouth. Notty uncle.
I continue, “Lei oi teng yi sang wa…..moi kum kwai kah. Kwai kwai teng yi sang wa…..fai dit hou lor. Chi mm chi…”
Chewah…I can speak so well. All his children have visited him. He basically has no more baggage. He has the blessings of his children to do ‘what’ is best. Tomorrow they will need to give him dialysis because his kidneys are failing. His lungs are failing. His heart is not strong.
So, I silently laid my hands on his chest, discreetly say a long prayer for him. And I asked, “Lord Jesus, please send Your comfort on him and strengthen him and shelter him from any pain. Have mercy on him and all the patients here and Just Do It!”
Then, I told him, “Ngo kiu san pou yau lei, kwai kwai teng yi sang wa…” (I asked san = god to protect and bless you, be good and listen to the doctor)
Yesterday, they already arranged everything to bring him back to Ipoh. They have also called the Buddist monk to say the final rites. But well….uncle probably have something to wait for.
My nephew, his eldest grandson is getting married on June 14. Maybe he wants to drink that sam pou cha.
So, Chow KW, get your wife-to-be back home ASAP, get her to give yeh-yeh a cup of tea and tell your yeh-yeh he now has an additional grand daughter-in-law. Leave the rest to the Lord’s Will. (Btw, my nephew has embraced Christ recently. Praise the Lord) Tell your mom to prepare an angpow on his behalf and make it like a wedding tea ceremony. I am sure that’s why your yeh-yeh is still waiting. He is in much discomfort and he shouldn’t be in this situation. Call me if you want me to be the tai kham por. LOL.
Ah yee-yee did this on my wedding too. My father-in-law was also dying and I gave him tea before I had the wedding ceremony. But he held on until after my wedding ceremony which is a few days later. I wanted to tell your mom but your koo-cheh, sok-sok and the uncles are there so I dare not say. Later they take broom and chase me. Moreover, it is more dramatic if you read this slowly and digest it with Jane. (hope I get the name right?) Your grandpa is very Chinaman, so I guess he wants to see the eldest grandson get married first. June 14 for an ailing old man like him is full of agonies. And your parents and uncles and aunties all so old already, cannot live with these stresses and false alarms so often) Do what Jesus prompts you, ok?
So, yeah, I am so thankful that I don’t have fear of the aged and sick people. Thank you, Lord.
LOL, I just warned my old man (hubby lah). I told him, “Next time ha….you better fast-fast go. Or else, you wait I go first, then you stay behind.”