Tag Archives: grandparents

Why Is Your Kangkung Like That?

 

I have always loved kangkung (water convolvulus). Even as a kid who hated vegetables, kangkung was the only green veggie I would eat without protest. But I digress.

As you can see, my kangkung stems are split into two. I know, it is rather unusual for many. It was my late grandpa who taught me that by splitting the kangkung stems into halves, it will taste nicer. And he was RIGHT!

No, I didn’t forget as I cut and cooked kangkung on that very day, the same way he taught me many years ago. With just garlic and some salt. Yes, nine years on and I still miss him.

In loving memory of my grandpa who left us on 23/09/2006.

You would have turned 94 today

You would have turned 94 today. I still miss you very much, Mama. I never thought the day would come when we have to part from this lifetime. But the reality in life where nothing is permanent, the day came on 18 July this year. While my heart bled for losing you but part of me was glad that you are no longer suffering in your old, weary and sickly body. You and grandpa left a gaping hole on my heart but am very thankful to have had both of you as my grandparents in this short life time. The both of you stood in as both parents and grandparents and in a sense, am truly fortunate to have had a childhood filled with love and wonderful memories.

Mama, I inherited more of you that I could ever imagine. I realised  this even more as I looked at your photo that was placed in front of your coffin. I have your smile, high forehead and chin. And I also hope I will have your thick wavy hair that is a nice shade of silver grey in my twilight years. I know that I have inherited your love for flowers, sense of unconventional thinking and stubborn nature.

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Many people actually realised how much I look like you in this photo.

What I hope and pray for is that I have inherited your resilience, perseverance and faith that would carry me far in my spiritual path. While we both chose different spiritual paths, am thankful that you provided me with a solid foundation of what is good and what is bad. Your unwavering faith in your chosen path serves as an inspiration to me in my journey towards my final destination.

In the early years when you embraced Christianity, it was really rough for you and grandpa. I felt so helpless not being able to help you much but I am so glad that I was at your baptism to witness your rebirth into the kingdom of God. It was such a beautiful ceremony that moved me. To be able to see you and grandpa commit yourselves to your God was precious. Years later when I took my refuge vows to commit myself to Buddhism, I wished you could be there with me but I knew that it would have be really tough for you to travel so far.

During your eulogy, I mentioned that one of the things that I will remember you and grandpa is your faith in Jesus and how this has and will continue to inspire me in my own spiritual journey. Although in the earlier part of your journey as a Christian was a huge challenge, you did not give up and chose to rely completely on God. Your faith not only sustained you right till the end, but it deepened and your complete love for Jesus is something not many have. I hope that I have that same faith, commitment and endurance in my own spiritual practice. Just as how you have relied your God to carry you through your darkest times, I too, will rely on my Guru and Protector to carry me through all my challenges in life.

You may have left a huge hole in my heart but you have also left me with a valuable teaching on the importance of spiritual practice and how unwavering faith, is crucial right at the most important part of your life… at the time of death. Your peaceful and serene face was a testament of what a good death should be – free of fear and any attachments.

Happy birthday, Mama! May you be well and happy wherever you are.

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Our last wefie with the “Queen Mother”. “Queen Mother” was Mama’s nickname.

My grandparents’ legacy

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One of the privileges of growing up with my Peranakan grandparents is learning how to appreciate traditional delicacy such as this one – Sambal belacan and durian with rice.

Tonight a slight twist with vegetarian sambal belacan and Tekka. Five stinky digits later, one happy belly and a heartful of lovely memories.

Dedicating this one to the 2 people who left me a treasure trove of childhood memories and helped shape me into who I am today.

In loving memory of Ong Tam Sang (28/08/1920 – 23/09/2008) and Ida Soh Lim Neo (02/10/1922 – 18/07/2016).