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,