MS Yoo Song was my granny. Her Hakka cuisine left a deep impression to me. She was a great cook. Her signature dishes were ‘young tofu, Hakka braised pork with black vinegar, Hakka braised duck for reunion dinner. Unfortunately, none of us took after her skills.
When I was a secondary school girl, I started to understand LOVE could be biased. My granny showed affection only towards our cousins. She was very close to our paternal aunties than our own father. That is human nature. She had been through a tough life. She lost her husband when her children were still at a tender age. Thus, it is understood that her feeling of love was imbalance.
Late granny was a brave woman. Despite her background, who was the first generation of Chinese born in Malaysia during World War One? She led tough live tapping rubber in Kota Tinggi. At the age of 18, she met her first love, our late grandad, who was a field force army during the British Ruling, on a roll call in her village.
Unfortunately, their “Love at First Sight” romance was strongly rejected by her family. Without any second thought, she ‘eloped’ with her lover to Johor Bauru. How bravery she was, especially with the act of ‘eloping’ in her era, which was as a serious offend as kidnapping. Being British influenced, my late granddad took her hands for marriage registration, abided by law to legalese her as a lawful wife. Thus, it was indeed a happy ending ever after.
Grandparent were blessed with three sons and three daughters. He worked as a public bus driver upon retired from arm forces. My dad was proud to get free rides in any public buses with ALEX bus company logo. Besides, he also did sideline, organizing package tours business from home. Leading numerous trips to Peninsular Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand.
Granddad passed away when dad was 16 years old. He suffered from sudden heart attack and was delayed of treatment in Hospital Sultanah Aminah. That left a miserable life for his family. The whole family cursed the HSA and had the phobia to enter this hospital for quite sometimes.
During her twilight years, she isolated herself with lots of TV dramas. She was able to mimic the whole Korean drama to use whenever we dropped by to visit her. She was diagnosed with dementia in the year 2014. We did our best to seek medical aids and even brought her back to stay with us. Towards, her later stage, she became senile, in fear and violence. With doctor’s advise, we were half-hearted to put her in one of the most luxurious nursing homes in town in 2015. She could not recognize anyone or talked to anyone of us during her stays in the nursing home for almost two years. We often visited her and wipe her mouth and gave helped her with some drinks.
My best moment before she passed away, she was able to hold my baby-her great-grandson gently in her arms. She stared at my baby passionately as if they could communicate with each other. That was an indeed the best touching photo I ever have seen.
18 March 2018 is the 100th day of granny passed away.
May LATE GRANNY be well and happy?
May LATE GRANNY had good merit
May LATE GRANNY has a Good rebirth!
AMITABHA, SADHU SADHU SADHU
Thank you grandma for your guidance. During my secondary school, you told me your Second World War experiences. The story help me to complete my assignment. Grandma is a great Hakka dishes cook. Your Yong toufu and braised pork are very delicious. May you be free from suffering. Rest in peace. Have a good rebirth. Amitabha
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