Hello all… remember how I said the Boy and I have been through a massive roller coaster ride this last year?
Well sadly, we’ve taken another downturn with bad news today.
As I write this (Sunday 27th 2012), this morning, my dearest grandmother, whom I call Popo and love dearly, sadly lost her battle with life.
It was sudden, and it was shocking.
She felt sick on Saturday night, woke up on Sunday nauseous, refused doctor and treatments until my aunt in Malaysia pretty much threatened her.
The ambulance came and she was admitted immediately to the ICU.
From there it’s been a nightmare, of phone calls and text messages.
One minute she seemed fine, the next the doctor was telling us that we’d better prepare for the worst. Next she had a mild heart attack, and her kidneys gave up.
They put her to sleep and hooked her on the dialysis machine.
A few hours later, I got a text message from my distraught aunt, “Popo is in critical condition”.
The next thing, her heart had stopped.
My grandparents mean the world to me. Not many people know, but my first few years as a little bub, I pretty much stayed with them full time, whilst I’d juggle my parents taking turns to have me on their respective weekends.
As a single mum, Madam Mummy had her hands full juggling a full time job as a teacher and an adolescent bordering on teenage years. Having her parents there to look after her baby was a heaven-sent.
My Popo was the best chef in the whole universe and she’d spoil me rotten with whatever I wanted to eat.
She’d cook for us Lobak, Babi Pong Teh, Fried Spring Rolls, Vegetarian Roast Duck, Curry Chicken and the lot (even some of my friends benefited from her cooking when they would come and pick me up from her house!).
She would always cook with delight for her four granddaughters. More so in recent years as we’ve all grown up and flown from the nest.
Whenever we would fly home for a visit, she’d be there ever ready with wok and spatula in hand asking us what we would like her to cook.
Up to the age of 89 (which she would have turned in December), she was still cooking for us!
Sometimes, she’d take charge of the prepping and my grandfather would take over the cooking.
But always for us. And always full of love.
You could say that my love for food is something I picked up from them both.
She was always open to trying any new food. My grandfather, being more traditional, stuck his ground to Chinese food (and the occasional Western fare of Chicken/Lamb chop and steaks).
But my Popo would eat with gusto and loved experimenting with foods.
I remember this one time when she decided that Croissants (called crab claws in Cantonese) went extremely well with her Nyonya Curry Chicken, and amazingly it did! All that buttery goodness.. Mmmm…
She would eat with absolute enjoyment. Slowly picking her way through all the different foods and meats. We always laughed at how during family dinners, Popo and Big Sis would always be the only two left still eating.
She would always call me her sam-kon-shuen loosely translated, it means her hearts’ most desired grandchild. She would fold me in her arms, and hug me and call me that, before planting a big wet kiss on my cheeks.
I’d always remember the smell of her perfume. Her heavy perfume which stuck on my clothes.
The last time I saw my grandmother, was when we flew back for Chinese New Year in February.
Doesn’t seem that long ago, only 3-4 months ago.
But it will now forever weigh on my mind that it was 3-4 months too long.
How it never occurred to me that this robust old lady, who always maintained her carefully dyed and permed hair to not look a day past 70 was getting older.
In March 2013, my grandparents were to celebrate their 70th Wedding Anniversary. Can you imagine that? 70 years of marriage!
Now that’s not going to happen and I’m so worried about how my grandfather is going to cope.
I count myself very lucky to have had my grandmother by my side for the last 29 (nearly 30) years of my life.
Words cannot begin to describe the pain and heartache I feel. To put into words how I never said goodbye.
Thank you for being the best grandmother there ever was!
I will miss you dearly, my beloved Popo. I will never forget you.
I’m coming home now.
Lots of Love,
So sorry for your loss 🙁 Your post made me very teary and made me miss my grandmother more. May she rest in peace.. Xx
Thank you Catherine 🙂
My condolence! You take good care…
Thank you! Trying hard 🙂
Ms. I-Hua, I’m so sorry to hear this, it sounds like you had such a special relationship with her and maybe got your love of good food and cooking from her. I loved my grandmother very much and still mis her and think of her often. Your grandparents were so lucky though to have each other for almost 70 years. Take care of that grandpa of yours.
We are doing our best to take care of him 🙂 Thank you!
Darling darling darling, so much love and love and hugs and love and support. This is a beautiful, beautiful tribute; she would be so proud to read these words, but it is clear that she knew how much you loved her, which is wonderful. Thinking of you dearest Angle Babe. xoxoxo
I’m sure she’s smiling down on me from heaven 🙂 Thanks Angle babe!
sorry for you loss, lovely. Beautiful post. Hugs.
This is a beautiful tribute to your grandmother, I-Hua, someone with an obvious passion for food, family and life. I’m very sorry to hear about your loss and I am praying for you and your family during this difficult time. RIP xx
Thank you Libby 🙂 She was such a beautiful person!
i’m sure she’ll look after you even in afterlife. ;D
I hope so 🙂
Hugs and love to you. xx
WUV YOU AZZIE!
Sorry to hear of the loss of your Po Po, I-Hua 🙁 This was a wonderful tribute and through the memories that you have canvased, we’ve seen what a loving lady she was. Grandmothers are so precious and my Dad’s mum was also one who took care of me for most of my younger years… I miss her a lot. May you have peace and safety for your trip.
They are so so precious 🙂 I miss her dearly!
So sorry to hear of your loss I-Hua. Thank you for sharing your lovely memories of her, you’ve certainly brought back treasured memories of my own Po Po. Thinking of you while you pay your respects. Big hugs!
Thanks Winnie! Memories are my only treasures now :’)
I’m so sorry for your loss. Your po po sounds like an amazing and wonderful woman! I’m sure you’ll keep her memories alive through your love of food 🙂 lots and lots of hugs.
I will I will! Thank you Thank you 🙂
Your story of your love for your Popo has brought tears to my eyes. I am so sorry for your loss.
Thank you Em 🙂
Sorry to hear of your loss 🙁
my thoughts are with you. I am so sorry to hear.
Your post made me brawl like a baby at work :(, your relationship reminded me of mine and my popo too.
Hi Julie! I’m sorry I made you cry 🙁 *hugs*
So, so, so very sorry to hear this. Loss is never easy, especially when it is someone so near and dear. It sounds like she was a wonderful lady, it’s nice that you have such good memories to carry with you.
Thank you 🙂 She had a wonderful soul!
I’m so so so sorry for your loss I-Hua 🙁 I can only imagine the pain that you’re going through right now.
Your Popo was sure amazing ~ and I know she will always be looking after you whereever she may be.
Please take good care of your grandfather and yourself!
Will be thinking of you *hugs* xoxo
One day at a time 🙂
I’m deeply saddened by your loss I-Hua…I know all too well the kind of emotions that flow out of people when these things happen…I lost my great aunt who we were all very close to a few months ago and my boyfriend just lost his grandpa to cancer recently. That was the main reason for our visit to Beijing…
Hope you’re feeling a bit better now and my thoughts to you and your family.
Keep up the smiles so your Popo will be happy in heaven!
I know.. been too many “losses” lately… makes you rethink life 🙂
Oh hun, I’m so sorry for your loss. What a touching tribute to your grandma. I grew up spending quite a lot of time with my grandparents who doted on me dearly. I absolutely adore my grandma so I really do feel for you.
I’m glad you’ll be with your family during this time.
Me too 🙂
Such a beautiful and heartfelt post. It is so lovely how close you were with your grandmother. Hope you and family are doing okay x
Thanks Ash 🙂 Hope you’re enjoying your holiday!
This is really touching .. I love your post .. and i hope that you have the same feeling for your grandmother always …
Hi Miss I-Hua
I am so so sorry to hear about your loss. I love my grandma very much- she was my closest relative- I can certainly relate how you felt when she passed away when I was 24. The pain is still in my heart every time I thought about her because I love her so much. I still write with a purple pen because she write letters to me with a purple pen also. It makes me feel that she’s still with me.
I am sure your grandma is still with you too, because you are a part of her and every time you cook your grandma’s recipes and her awesome inventions (curry with croissant really sounds epic!), she will be with you.
We are so lucky to be so loved and treasured by our grandmothers. Take care and stay strong
That’s so lovely you had such good memories 🙂 And thank you for sharing your story with me! I bought lots of croissants today!
My sincere condolences!
I am sincerely sorry for you in losing your Popo. I also had this kind of experience and I can feel the dread and heartache that you feel. What was the most memorable thing you had with her?
Thanks Pattie! Every memory is engraved and important to me!
Im so sorry for oyur loss! What a beautiful post for your Po Po xo
Sorry to hear of the death of your Grandma – you have some lovely memories of her.
Thank you Cara 🙂
<3 May she never be forgotten. xoxox
Holding on to all my treasured memories of her so tightly!
I grew up with my grandparents to and I know how it feels to lose them at such an early age. It was a devastating moment and they will forever remembered. I juts think that they are in heaven now still watching over me.
Nice post. Thanks!
Thank you Acel!
so sorry to hear, may your heart be full of happy memories
*HUGS* thank you
What a heart wrecking post. Sorry to hear your loss and from what I can see she has lived a fruitful life. She’ll continue to watch over you I’m sure.
Thanks Kelly 🙂
so sorry for the loss of your Grandma. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and memories.
Thanks Angela! It’s been a crazy year 🙁
I think your po po lives on, in your heart.
Not a day has gone by when I don’t think of her 🙂