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Remembering grandpa Chow

Do you remember my post about my visit to my sister’s father-in-law? I made that post, full of adrenalin. It was on May 12th, 2008.

Then on May 15th, my nephew came back with his wife-to-be (they are getting married in June in a neighbouring country) to give grandpa his cup of wedding tea (please scroll to point # 7). A cup of tea to signify that grandpa has been promoted to grandfather-in-law. I cannot be sure but I think this nephew getting married is the first grandchild to get married. So, it is a big occassion. To me, it is also a big leap (account on my faith blog)

I went to visit him the day before yesterday. He was all fine and even tried to tell me something. Yesterday, we went to take a peep but at that time, the nurses were changing him so I didn’t drop by to say hi.

This evening, my niece sms-ed that he has passed on. I replied her sms with : You all want undertaker ah? If you need any help, tell us lah. We don’t want to intrude now.

After that I went out for dinner with my kids and I told them, you know….Your ma has got to be the most morbid person. People tell her someone passed away, she asked, “Want undertaker ah?”

If that is not enough, while having dinner, I sms-ed my niece again. “Eh, careful that there is no conman undertaker ‘cos the nurses will simply call one ‘cos they get commission.” (These undertakers will charge exhorbitantly, hence, it is good to find undertakers we know. The aunt called one from Tapah, Perak )

I didn’t go immediately because I know they need privacy to deal with it. So, I went to my bible course. After that, I thought of asking my niece how’s everything as I thought they had gone to Ipoh. Incidentally, the undertaker just arrived from Tapah. So, I met up with them at the hospital morgue.

I got a final look of grandpa Chow ‘cos the undertaker obligingly opened the steel coffin for me to see. I said my little prayer for him. Come to think of it, I must thank God that I have morphed into this fearless person. A lone woman (my hubby was nearby lah), standing there beside the steel coffin, with a deceased person, wrapped from head to toe (our local hospital method of dealing with dead bodies) and I stood there and mumbled all the prayers I can remember. Otherwise, without God, I will fled the other direction, I tell you.

It is sort of a farewell to this taukey from Ipoh who owns a dimsum restaurant. He gave my kids angpows, yearly when he comes to Penang on Chinese New Years. I gave him an angpow for good health in return. Other than that, I never talked to him because he speaks only Cantonese (which I can’t) and anyway, what do I have in common to chat with him, right?

He passed on in his sleep. His eldest daughter was beside him. According to my sister, he remembers who is who on these last few days. He has lived a marvellous life, 84 years old, left a big legacy through his children and grandchildren.

So, yes, farewell grandpa Chow and so long. Glad that I have somehow touched your life in your last days and you have ‘forced’ me to overcome my fears of old people. If I had not visited you, I wouldn’t have overcome the fears of going near ailing old folks. My parents, my parents-in-laws all did not allow me the chance to find that courage. (I damn freaked out having to ‘put’ both my in-laws in their coffins, I ran to their feet part so that I don’t need to see their faces. When my mom died, I was pregnant and wasn’t allowed near her.) You did. So I shall remember you.

It is funny how things worked out. In Cantonese, ‘charn kah lou yeh, yat lou soon fong’.

P/S : Anyone knows where in Ipoh town I can rent a nice holiday apartment? Need it for Saturday night.




15 Responses to “Remembering grandpa Chow”

  1. Just for record, they left at 11 pm from Penang so grandpa is still driving on the highway, paying tolls as I am writing this.

  2. when my ah kong died many many years ago. we were instructed to turn our back facing the coffin when they closed the lid and again with our back faced the ‘kuar char ciah'(KCC) when they undertaker moved the coffin into the KCC. I asked why, he was my ah kong, why cant we c him all the way…

    i think there is a conspiracy lah… c got logic or not.

    i suspect 1) some conmans came up with this idea so that they can loot what ever fr the coffin or the dead body secretly as ppl used to put stuffs in coffin in the old days. Then later ppl adopt this because it makes their job easier.

    2) coffins are heavy and accidents can happen when they transfer the kuar char to the car, if accident happens, no one sees it so mah senang lor, no one ‘kapsiau’ ‘kap-pe’.

    i told my mama then and what did i get?

    was told to keep my mouth shut! or kena slap!

    also, i also noticed ppl suddenly become such a good actor or actress..easily rival those oscar winners. They can pretend crying until mau mati..some pesang juga but when the decease was alive, they were nowhere to be seen. The quiet ones are often the real one.

  3. I think u did a great job n i have been following all yr post prior to his departure. God really help us both psychologically and physically too. Stay at Equatorial loh at town or Casuarina. Remember to eat at Loh Wong Nga Choy Kei. -Sprouts chicken-

  4. RIP, Grandpa Chow.

    I dont understand a word from your cantonese phrase. Niamah!!!

    The last time I stayed in Ipoh was at a haunted motel call Caspian when I was working on a project at ARE (Asian Rare Earth). That was like a million years ago. The hantu didnt kacau me prolly because I was glowing with radiation after spending the whole day at ARE. Bwahahaha!!!

  5. terence – Charn kah = besan = in-law

    Lou Yeh = old coconut?

    yat lou soon foong = wish him one road smooth wind, no traffic jam along Cangkat Jering highway.

    Boleh faham? Niamah.

  6. cy – Everytime I passed by Ipoh, I eat till jelak already. :mrgreen:

  7. hahaha… if you can’t speak or understand cantonese, but then you could say charn kah lou yeh yat lou soon foong?! 😆

    Cindys last blog post..Are You A Great Listener

  8. JT – Wuah, you don’t bring up the best crying actress award. This one happened elsewhere lah, not referring to above case. Last time hor, got ‘some people’ lah. The father died at home, they were dotters married ‘out’. When they come to the home, they threw themselves on the ground and crawl in, screaming repentance for not being there for him.

    That one ok lah, cos it was quite the emotional one. Then, hor, when the mother died, after being in coma for more than a year. We were glad lah, actually.

    Same thing. But this time quite ridiculous wor. So attached, visit her every day in the old folks home lah. Die already, somemore got time ‘I close my shop first, clear everything then only I come’. Reach the house time (where the body is) , lagi same scene, threw self on ground, CRAWL in while screaming how unfilial they are etc etc. I tell you, I don’t know to laugh or to cry.

    Thank God my mother never teach me to be this filial cos she would know our heartaches without the drama of crawling and calling for forgiveness. Aiyoh, I don’t mean to make fun of these IBS (irritable bowel syndrome aka siblings we adopted through ‘I do’) but sometimes…..haih….Real situation when father is dying, dotter still couldn’t be bothered. Where got meaning right? Never teach own kid to be filial, sindiri crawl so much for what lah. Niamah.

  9. cindy – Actually, I can speak quite well lah, but not engage in a whole conversation as I need to think of the words before I can say. I watch Astro a lot mah…..Sure terror liao.

  10. OIC. Thanks for the enlightenment.

    Your Assthrow got dynasty package meh? Don’t lie you know. TERENCE knows everything. Bwahahaha!!!

  11. aiyoyo.. canto 101 sifu here. Lou yeh if pronounced korekly is FIL, ths DIL addressing the hubby’s papa. If pronounced silap is old man as in sei loe yeh (blardy old man). I hope u didnt call him by the latter.

    Kis last blog post..Komplen hamit lan?

  12. RIP to grandpa Chow.

    Prayers for the one still in hospital.

    🙄 actresses? Should have Oscar award for best crying performance.

    Dotter who is still plucking fruits instead of being where she is…should be pelted with rotten fruits and bitch slap till she wakes up.

    Foongs last blog post..Strange search terms

  13. Where u want to stay? Ipoh town? There is a 3 star hotel behind The store in Ipoh town. The room very big and neat. Only RM80 pernight include breakfast. Or “new” badget hotel just in front Tesco and Jusco. The rest of the 4 star hotel – too old liao and expensive!

    allisias last blog post..Breastfeeding consultant

  14. allisia – Wuah, I think I 15 years never been in Ipoh. So many hotels now ah? Last time only got Shyuen and the other Chinaman type only. Thanks for the info.

    foong – The 😈 sadist in me hopes to see her face when she gets back. I mean the realisation what the father is in. I do not know if she is being ignorant or being in denial or being selfish.

    ki – My Canto terror also wan cos I got Canto ex-bf and my almost mil-to-be dotted over me ‘cos I could talk the talk. :mrgreen:

    terence – Chey, I graduated liao. I learnt from young lah! Got redifussion mah.

  15. […] Nga Choy Kai street. But I didn’t get to eat the chicken ‘cos my sister has foods at Grandpa Chow’s funeral wake already. *bawls* But I want to eat pak cham […]