Tuesday, 18 February 2014

♥하루 119 - My Grandpa

My father called my name from downstairs as I readied myself to snug in with a book after my shower. Irritated, I trudged down with my pile of dirty clothes in one hand, a novel in the other, and my favourite purple towel over my shoulders.

"grandpa has passed away just now, inform your brothers and sisters there will be a funeral tonight."

Surprisingly, I didn't burst out in tears like I thought I'm sure I would two months ago, when grandpa fell sick again, and we sang softly by his bed in the HCU unit of the hospital, watching his every painful grasps of breath, the efforts made for every difficult rise of his chest, and the tubes sticking out from his nose and wrists, the heart rate monitor giving out random beep's, indicating his life in squiggles that we could not understand.

Granted with the only grandfather since birth, he is definitely not the typical grandpa all my primary school classmates have, the kind who chase them around the house with a spoon and a bowl of porridge, either is he the kind who goes for tai chi with nearby friends the similar age 6 am every morning, or the kind who sits in a rocking chair and tells his grandchildren interesting war-time stories with animated expressions.

In fact, I have not properly known my grandfather at all half of my lifetime.

When I'm younger, he always seemed like a frowny old man my mom always make us call 'gong gong' whenever we went over to my eldest uncle's place to visit. I have never seen him smile or give us chocolates or tell us stories. I was closer to my grandma, who developed alzheimer's a few years back. I learned how to speak cantonese from her, and I remember her asking for her purse a million times a day, showering for 5 times a day, or I remember smuggling money from my piggy bank for her to take a bus home, which later a heavily loaded purse found in the recycle box my dad was going to clean out.

 but no, I have not properly known my grandpa at all.

Momoke, though, have many times told us stories about grandpa being mean to them throughout their childhood. Hitting them for faultless blames and have never shown an ounce of care towards his children.

However, these traumatic experiences momoke had, she always transformed them into funny stories and lessons for us to learn from.  

I always had a feeling that mom had a dysfunctional childhood (the Japanese Occupation does that and a lot more), but a few years ago I can feel that momoke had fully forgiven him. Since young, momoke had cultivated in us the lesson of filial duty, a display of family affection that can not be forgotten. (despite how much or less love they had sacrificed previously, parents are parents.) I've learned to respect and frequently visit my grandparents - I would undoubtedly keep that close in heart for my own family too.

My grandpa and grandma never had a loving relationship, whereby they get pissed off whenever we make them sit together for photographs during celebrations, and they'd face the opposite direction of each other angrily. When they're younger, my grandpa used to be the loud and hot-tempered one, whereas my grandma the more considerate and calm for their children's sake, but now the roles have changed. 

My grandma scolds vulgarities at him while grandpa sits and listen in amusement.

It has always been a good laugh when we watch in amusement, too and hurry to snap the photos and cut cake before my grandma gets sooo pissed off she'd decide it's time to leave. 

When I first encountered the news of grandpa leaving, I was astonishingly calm. In fact, I would have heave a sigh of relief. He has already lived life of a century, seen his great-grandchildren grow into beautiful, active kids and went through a compilation of life at its unpredictable forms. He was sick again and again, many times critical, but yet my grandpa had shown true, invincible strength. He was tough like how he was throughout his youth. 

Despite looking frail and alot more thinner, and despite the struggle to inhale every mouthful of breath, he held on. We thought we'd lose him there and then at the hospital bed that night, when his heartbeat rate was slowing down to a decrescendo. 

But he made it back home, surprising us with the remarkable vitality of a 101-year old. I thank God for gifting my grandpa a long and prosperous life, and I thank God for welcoming him in the Kingdom of Heaven, where he'd be transformed, looking handsome again in the love of God.

A photo with my cousin, and a rare smile on my grandpa's face ☺

When I asked momoke "Ma, do you feel sad for grandpa's leaving?"
She replied, 对他来说,这是一种解脱。

My grandfather has rest in peace today, at the age of 101. 
See you again, gong gong,
have fun up there!

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