Thursday, August 18, 2011

Appreciating a China Man

On the fateful morning of the 14th of August 2011, my only grandfather left in my life passed away.... At this point, you are probably thinking it's very mean to call your grandfather a "China Man"

Actually not, because my grandfather was a China Man through and through, he was basically proud to be from China and always taught us, his children and grandchildren the wonders of the Chinese tradition.  As a young child, I didn't quite fancy China(and still don't), but we would go back and visit our ancestor's village and he would be so happy to introduce to us his friends and our family from there. He would also proudly point to us various sites "that used to be" in the now booming town of Jiang Men.

Right in the heart of our Choo village in China

Even in Malaysia, he would not let Chinese traditions slip by during festive occasions. He was a man that emphasized punctuality, determination to always get the family together for a huge meal, and pride in whatever it was that he did.

He taught me the traditions of Chinese New Year which I will continue

A man that even knew the craft work of a traditional Chinese shirt

When I knew that my grandfather was diagnosed with cancer two years ago, I was terribly upset because I was in the US and still had a few more courses to go for my PhD. As a determined person myself(now I know where I got the trait from), I bulldozed my way through the rest of my courses and made a decision to come back to conduct research in Malaysia last year.

To me, I still couldn't fathom the idea of losing my grandfather and not being able to see him during his last months. He unconsciously steered my direction to come back to Malaysia last year, and I am glad I did because..

Still looking healthy at Skewer's opening

I got to spend my first and last Chinese New Year(here) with him after six years:(

Finally celebrated Moon cake festival with him last makes my day to see him so happy that we came...his emphasis on family get-togethers during festivals are deeply rooted in me..

Including the many huge family dinners we had

It was tough to see my grandfather slowly deteriorating over the past year, from a healthy round face to a gaunt thin look. Although his physical body changed, his will to live didn't, even until his last few hours, where he asked for a "miracle". He wanted to live long not for anything material, but to see his offspring and grandchildren through life. When I came back from my trip to the USA in June this year, he told me in no uncertain terms

"No need to go back anymore right"

At that point, I told him "yes" because I didn't want him to worry about me anymore. I got a feeling he was afraid that if anything happened, I wouldn't be around. Even to the last few hours on his death bed, he was still concerned about all of us present because it was late and he shooed us to go home and rest! I will always appreciate that..... the nobility and care of a China Man.

Thank you for nurturing us and instilling all these Chinese values in us..... I love and miss you yeye!

Your loving grand daughter


ShaunC said...

Title should be, "Appreciating a Selfless Man".

iwan said...

might as well be `GOOD AND HUMBLE CHINA MAN' or the `COOLEST GRANDPA I EVER HAD'... =)

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