none of my friends knew very much about my grandma, or "ah ma" as i call her, except that she had been ill and battling colorectal cancer for the past year. when she passed away last week, i specified that none of them needed to come to the wake, because i've never been comfortable with the idea of people coming together to mourn. people should always come together to celebrate - for happy reasons. nevertheless, unknowingly even to myself, she had played such an integral part in my life that i have been aching to pen these thoughts down, aching to share how great a person my ah ma had been.
i spent part of my teens staying over at her place on days when i had to train at the swimming pool near her home. the image of a sunny side up with bread - my breakfast whenever i stay over, has been deeply etched in my mind and that's the one memory that kept floating back into my mind. i visited her every couple of days in the past year that she's was unwell and it has became sort of a routine which i now have to undo. it's an overwhelming feeling that strikes when it finally sinks in that this time it's really goodbye forever.
bits and pieces of my daily life reminded me of her and i can only imagine how much more difficult it must be for my mother. my mum had been her closest kin, never failing to give her a at least a phone call every single day for as long as i can remember.
during the wake, my mum commented that ah ma was her iron lady, encouraging her to continue working after her pregnancy, stressing the need to be financially independent. my mum was an adopted child, but she grew up a mighty fine lady indeed. and now, my mum is no doubt my iron lady through and through.
i never understood why people liked video recordings (who actually sits down to watch a video clip of their last holiday anyway?), but i now realise that the impromptu video i'd made of my grandma and her sewing machine is probably the closest i can ever get to seeing her in person again. it's a funny 2min video of her animatedly comparing the prices of altering her own pants versus sending them to the tailor (we're talking about S$3 here), and i can't help but chuckle every time i watch it. a great way to remember her by!
the last few months of her life had been painful for her, and it was heartbreaking in the last days to see her suffering and yet could do nothing to help. in a way we're glad she's relieved of her pain and is now in a much better place.
ah ma, i love you and you are dearly missed.
And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. - revelation 21:4