For my beloved grandmother, who left our world towards a better place at the ripe age of 93. May all our wishes and prayers reach to her.
I love you. Ever since I knew you, we had loved and cared for one another for so long. After you left us, I have never felt so much love towards you before. In fact, I realized that I love you so much that it's so hard to say goodbye to you...
You represent the entire grandmother-grandfather generation to me. Whenever people mention to me about my grandparents, you will be the first one to pop up in my mind.I remember a long time ago, when I was just a little kid, you would always hug me and carry me around the house, stroke me on the cheek when I was sad or cute. What I remember the most is when you always prepared 6 peanut-butter spread biscuits on a red plate and serve it to me. I can recall how sweet you smiled when you see me happily and hungrily eat up all of it. You didn't mind whether I gave you some or not. All that matters to you was that your dear grandson can eat the biscuits with joy. As long as that is true, you will be happy.
You are also very protective to me. Till this day, I still cannot forgive and forget what I had done to you. When I was 10 and you were 82, I remembered storming into the house angrily with a the house keys on my hand. At that moment, my mum was scolding me for being so naughty to steal the keys and walking far from home. I entered the house, only to hear you saying that "Why are you such a bad boy?". I do not know why, perhaps too furious till I lost you mind, I threw the metal keys right towards your head. Immediately, both my parents were outraged, as they separately took their beating canes and whacked the hell out of me. Suddenly, after stroking the painful part of your forehead, you said "Please stop beating him. Forgive him. It's nothing! I do not feel any pain at all." That time, I didn't feel anything from those words. Until today, I feel the pain deep in my heart and I regret so much of what I had done. How could a grandson do such unforgivable things to his grandmother? But I could never understand: how could a grandmother forgive her grandson even though he did something so unforgivable towards her?
Those hours, days and weeks where you keep working hard at the garden, planting all those vegetables for us to eat. Although you're so old, but you still worked so hard. Seeing you touch your back due to pain, I could not stop wondering what keeps you going on for so long. When I asked you, then I realized that you're 88 years old already. But you said, "It's nothing! It's so boring sitting in the house. At least planting some things for you to eat during dinner is fine for me!" Then I realized: although you're old with your wrinkly skin, you have so much stamina in you. During those times, we will always stay together happily, play cards together, watch TV and laugh together, sleep on the same bed, stay outside the house, sharing the same bright sun......but you shown no sign of fatigue or unwillingness. You loved me, played with me and cared for me with no request of repaying our debts ever since I was a baby, till I was a kid, a teenager...
Then, by the year of 2005, everything changed. You were diagnosed with Hepatitis B. Doctors said that your salliva can never contact with our mouths or we'll get infected as well. From that day onwards, I felt as if so many bonds between us had broken apart. We could not share the same plate or meal anymore. We could not share the same utensils anymore. We couldn't even share the same seat anymore. Due to that, you've grown weaker. You will sleep more than work. We no longer see you working outside at the gardens. I felt so isolated from you after your unfortunate diagnosis. You may had suffered a lot because we kept isolating ourselves from you; you may had suffered from not being able to control when to shit, shitting instantly after meals; you may had suffered the life of wearing diapers... but you stayed strong. You showed no sign of giving up your life, always going on with your life. When I asked you, "Are you okay, granny?" You would just scold me, "I'm fine. Go away. Don't worry about me." I did not know whether you really were okay, or you did not want me to see you suffer.
Time passed. Your body was growing weaker and skinnier. You no longer walked around the house and watch TV with us. Every time, after every meal, you would just walk back to bed and sleep till the next meal. Your life was only bound to eat and sleep. At the moment, I did not know how much pain you had tolerated and suffered. As a grandson, I am in guilt, because I did not take care of you when you're in pain. While I'm in pain, you would always care for me. But when I was around 17-18, I preferred playing my games over taking care of you. I couldn't believe how terrible I was as a grandson. But you would always look at me while giving me a weak smile, saying "Go play your games then, don't worry about me." I can't believe how my computer addiction can lead to my negligence towards you, what's worse of all, I can't believe how you didn't mind at all and forgiving me all the time, without me knowing it! Doctors even said they she may not last any longer from that time, but how the hell can I still ignore you!!
By the year 2008, you were still with us, at that time I was ready to leave for my college life. Before I left, you cried so much and hugged me so tight till my ribs seemed to get crushed. For the first time in my life, I truly felt someone crying for me. All her pure tears flowing out from her small wrinkled eyes, just for me. It is then I finally realized, how much I had meant to her... how much she had loved me... how much longer she wanted to be with me, in hopes that I'll never leave... in hopes that time would stop, just for a few minutes so we can rejoice together happily... At that moment, I nearly stopped myself from leaving home. Around May, I returned. She was so overjoyed to see me return, she gave me the same rib-crushing hug. We talked and laughed again, just like the old times. After my holidays, before leaving for the airport, you would cry again, giving me the same old rib-crushing hug, making me reluctant to return to KL, again and again.
Ever since my last return at 4th December 2008, during 5th December 2008 was one of the most unforgetable moment in my life. It was also the reason why I didn't go out with my friends. When I met Granny on her cozy bed in our house, she wasn't even getting up from bed anymore. I went over and pulled her up. Suddenly, she yelled in pain. Her spine was aching badly. She seemed unable to get out of bed anymore due to her deteriorating condition. I kept encouraging her, "Never mind, po-po. Let's try a different way." But no matter how I tried to get her up, she'll yell in pain. I did not want her to feel pain, so I let go of her. There was no way she could get up. My eyesight was getting watery, I thought, "Is granny unable to get up forever?" Suddenly, my grandma started to laugh. As she laughed, her grin became sour as tears started to flow from her eyes. She knew - she is getting older and weaker. Is granny crying because she felt as if she's about to die? I convinced her not to think so much and keep focusing on getting out of bed. Then, she gripped my arm tight and started to move her mouth. "I'm feeling so bad right now..." We were staring at each other for that long moment, feeling her flowing tears. I was controlling myself not to cry, until she said, "I feel so bad... my grandson is suffering because of me..."
She... at times like these, still thinks about me...
At February 14, 2009, all Granny did was just lying down on he cozy bed with a maid besides her should anything goes wrong. Before leaving home, I went over to see Granny. She was sleeping. I called her repeatingly. "Po-po.... po-po..." She struggled to open her eyes, as I saw her eyes staring at me weakly, I said, "I'll be going back to KL! So, you better take care of yourself, okay?" She didn't reply to me at all. I had no idea whether she no longer knew how to reply me, or she purposely ignored me. I whispered at her ears. "Thanks for taking care of me for so long. I will never forget what you had done for me. As your dear grandson, I thank you for being my beloved, cheerful, once hyperactive grandmother."
"I love you grandma, and I'll love you always."
She still didn't give any reaction, my tears were starting to flow like crazy, so I forced myself to leave. As I said goodbye to granny, she said the last words to me, words so meaningful and touching in my life, that they carved themselves right into my heart. She mumbled:
At March 3, 2009, 3pm, she finally rested in peace, at her own cozy bed. When I received the words from my sister, I felt cool, although my sister was crying as she informed me the news. After putting down the phone, I left my unit and stared up at the sky. It started to rain lightly with a cold breeze of wind. As I gazed up, tiny raindrops landed on my entire face, making it wet, but it no longer matters. I closed my eyes and smiled. "Granny, thanks for being my grandmother for so long. I will never forget whatever you've done for me. I promise you - I'll study hard amd I won't let everyone down!"
At that point where raindrops and tears mixed on my face, I felt as if granny was smiling at me, slowly stroking my cheek with her warm hand...
My sister and I returned home at March 4, 2009 to attend her funeral at March 5, 2009. At Telipok, she finally found her resting place. She was the one who made me realized, how strong my conditional love was, how deep her unconditional love is to me...
Grandma, thank you, I'm sorry, and I love you. I always will. =)