Saturday, February 21, 2009

It's been 10 years...

This is the most difficult post I have written since I started blogging last year. It's been 10 years since she left us to go home to be with the Lord. There are just so many things to say, yet I cannot find the right words to fully express what I need to say.

My “Ah Mah” (term of endearment for “grandmother”) was such an amazing woman. When I was younger, I used to go around telling people that there is nobody else in this world I love more than my grandmother. She took care of me since I was a baby and I would spend almost every moment of the day with her while growing up since both my parents were working.

As I grew older and started school, she would make sure that my breakfast was on the table, my uniform, socks and shoes all ready to be worn, my lunch nice and warm when I returned home from school....Not once did she complain. This is the kind of love that my grandmother had for me. I also remember the lil outings we would take, just me and her. We would take the bus downtown to the market in Jelutong or on special days, we would go to Chowrasta Market and Komtar! I still remember...the Penang yellow bus, number 77 (she would aways say, “the black 77 ah, not the red, ok?”). It was usually packed with people and it didn't have any air conditioning...but to me, it was the best. It was the best cos I was going on an outing with my Ah Mah. I can go on and on and on about all the memories I had with my Ah Mah that made my childhood one of the best times of my life.

My grandmother was a Taoist/Buddhist for the major part of her life. I remember watching her pray to our ancestors and all kinds of stuff during various Chinese festivals. One day, I learnt from Sunday School that you cannot have eternal life unless you accept Jesus into your heart. I was deeply troubled by this. I told my parents about this and they said "pray la that Jesus will come into Ah Mah’s heart". So, I prayed. Not for one day, not for one week, not for one month. I prayed every night before I went to sleep. This went on for close to three years! I knew that I had to pray for my grandmother’s salvation.

For a little girl, I believed it takes more than just oh, I think I better pray la. I believed that I really really really felt that it was important that my grandma knew Jesus.

One day, some long-lost relatives who resided in Australia came to visit us. They shared with my grandma and asked if she would like to accept Jesus into her heart. She said yes! Even at my young age, I knew my grandmother’s life would never be the same again. She now has Jesus in her life! And boy, did she show that in her life – no more idols, shrines, temples, etc and in her own words,”set free !” I remember seeing her hunched over her Bible for hours, reading slowly every word. This was no mean feat as her formal education had been interrupted by the Japanese occupation of the then Malaya.

Fast forward. I was 19 when my grandmother was diagnosed with Non Hodgkins Lymphoma. My world came crumbling down. I had so many questions. Why? Why do bad things happen to good people? Still, I had to be strong. It was so hard to see her waste away as the days pass. Why didn't I pray? Of course I prayed. I never prayed so hard before. This was also the time when I felt so close to God. I learnt so many truths from this period in my life. I learnt that sometimes healing doesn't come physically and that sometimes God has different plans from our plans. We might be able to see it at the point in life, but truths will slowly be revealed to us and God's plans are always good. I thank the Lord for being so close to the family during that very difficult time. I know that until the end, my grandmother never took her eyes off Jesus. Her faith in God never wavered. What an amazing lady my grandmother was.

I remember being in the hospital room with my dad and uncle the night she left us. It was just the four of us. I initially wanted to go out with my friends that night but my dad said no. I was pretty upset..I told my dad that I could always go to the hospital tomorrow. I am glad I didn't go out with my friends that night. Sometimes tomorrow never comes. I would have never ever forgiven myself if I had lost that chance to spend my grandmother’s last moments on earth together with her. I still remember. I was sitting on a chair with my eyes closed when I felt a gentle breeze and something like a shadow move pass me. I knew she was gone.

In my dad's words, after all this time, not one day has passed since then that we have not thought of her. How many times have I wished that she was there at my 21st birthday party; being at the airport to see me off as I left for the States for the first time; getting a chance to meet Kevin and seeing what a wonderful man he is; watching my dad walk me down the aisle on my wedding day and maybe one day holding my firstborn in her arms. How nice that would have been but I know that she is now in a better place. I still miss her a lot but I know that it's not the end. I will see her one day again and that's when I can tell her of all the things that I have done after she left.

I know that this is a very long post. Before I end, let me tell you something my grandmother told me a few weeks just before she passed away. I have not told many people about this and I think it might be the first time reading about it for many of you. I was talking to her in the room when she told me that she was ready to go home. She was not afraid of dying. She said she knew where she is going to when the time came.. She was going to heaven to be with our Lord. Then she looked at me and asked me, “Do you know if you are going to heaven? I know I am, Charlene and that we will meet again one day.” She also said that she will be in heaven, waiting for me. “Do not let her down” Until today, her words are ringing in my ears. “Do not let me down, I know I can make it but can you? Do not let me down.”

Ah Mah, even after 10 years...I still miss you lots. I look forward to the day when my work on earth is done and when I will see you again in heaven. Wait for me, I will not let you down. Like some people always say, this is not goodbye, it's see you later...

7 comments:

Simply said...

Such a touching and beautiful post...I did not know she had already passed away...I still remember your Ah Ma and what a great cook she was! =)

Simply June said...

the earlier post was from me =)

Henry said...

nice post cheh. we were all moved to tears :')& i may have been young @ tht time, but i miss ahma loads too.but its ok,cause we're gonna see her again soon right?-ash

Charlene n Kevin said...

June: Thanks. I'm glad you remembered her. Some of my other friends also commented that they remember her cooking :) She was indeed a good cook...

Ash: Yes, we will see her again. But SOON? I hope not so soon la..hor? :P

Cherzza said...

Sigh.. this post made me cry too.. I really really do miss the old folks.. :( it's never the same without them.. sniff.. but well i guess we've got the new fruit clan to grow old with.. and impact the younger ones.. it's up to us now! Haha..

Twilight Zone said...

My grandma had 58 grandchildren so I didn't get any food, milo or socks laid out except a tight slap for screaming loudly in the middle of the night when I was barely 5 years old. The slap is a lifetime reminder to remember her.

Charlene n Kevin said...

Cherzza: Hahaha, afterwards tiba tiba we are the old folks already :P Time does fly...

Twilight: Wah 58 grandkids! Your grandma is surely very lucky. I guess I can consider myself blessed to have a grandma who does all those stuff for me..eventhough once in a while, I will still get the rotan when I naughty la :P