Yes, I have been AWOL again. Oopsie. It has been a very busy time of year, but the main things that have been keeping me away from this are sickness (Jacob’s, not mine – he’s had HFMD, colds, gastro, etc.) and travel.
On 13 Feb, my grandfather passed away so I embarked on a trip back to Malaysia, solo (with Jacob). He had had a heart attack the week before but his condition was supposedly stable. However, it declined that night and he passed away in the wee hours of the morning. He would have turned 90 in May.
Anyway, I jumped online to purchase a flight home and lo and behold, all the direct flights were sold out because it was Chinese New Year season. Hence I had to book with Air Asia (which has my full support, by the way – I’ve always enjoyed flying with them) – the only drawback was that I had to manouvre 3 flights and had to go through Melbourne which is like the busiest airport ever, especially at Chinese New Year!
However, we made it there and were able to have a good night’s rest before taking on the world the next day. Saturday night was the wake – we had a small Anglican prayer service at our house and sang some beautiful hymns (including “What a friend we have in Jesus” which left not a dry eye).
Grandpa’s body was being preserved in a cooler/fridgeand we could look in at him (which I know is not done in some cultures, but we do it here). He looked so much smaller and thinner than I remembered, even though we had only seen him a few months before. I was then told he was wearing my dad’s suit which probably explained why it looked a bit loose for him. Grandpa was also wearing his favourite beret.
The next day was the funeral and I had the privilege to play the piano for the church. I tried my best though I think I played “Rock of Ages” a bit too fast, as I normally do. I also shared some words during the eulogy, bringing back some memories of him taking photos all the time, eating bananas with me and just spending time together even if not many words were exchanged. He was cremated and his urn was placed in a lovely spot (at the crematorium) on the top of a hill.
While it is sad that he is gone, he did live a long life and he tried his best in all he did. He delighted in small things like 100 Plus (an isotonic drink we have in Malaysia) and vanilla ice cream. We will remember him as a man of few words, but when he spoke, he was worth listening to.