My parents just came back from Kinmen, paying their overdue respect to my late Grandpa. My Grandpa's sudden death in Kinmen decades ago was a shock and his close ones were not with him when he died because he was on overseas trip back to his homeland. I just like to pay tribute to the man I knew for only 6 years, but who took great care of me and loved me dearly. I think Grandpa looked real handsome when he was young. I had blogged about my Grandpa before, below was my earlier post.
I had a close relationship with my Ah Gong (Dad's Dad). I was looked after by Ah Gong when I was young because my parents had to work. He doted on me like a precious gem. He bought me lots of toys, books, drawing boards (I like to draw!). Mom told me Ah Gong used to bring me out everyday everywhere, be it for business or to visit friends or simply to the park. We used to live in a shophouse in Shenton Way and there was this park near the Raffles Place of today. Normally, at the end of the day, to my Mom's horror, my attire would usually be dirty, sweaty, untidy with unkempt hair (how could an old man take care of a small kid?). Ah Gong and I were inseparable then ...... until he left when I was six.
He had wanted to visit his homeland, Kinmen. In my recollection, I could still remember that morning at the airport where we were to send him off. Just as he was going in, he turned around and waved goodbye to me, smiling ever so kindly. The 6-year-old me burst out crying. I did not know then that I would never see him ever again.
He had an heart attack while he was in Kinmen and died in his homeland. He was 69. He had a grand funeral there, but sadly, none of his immediate family were there. When his things were flown back to Singapore, inside his wallet was a small note which I had sent to him just a few days earlier. In all of my 6-year-old knowledge then, I wrote in English: "Grandpa, how are you?" and in Chinese, "公公, 你好吗? 我很想你." This tattered little piece of paper is still with me today.
At that time, we held a religious ceremony for him at my home. Shortly after, I had a dream. The scene was exactly the same ceremony at my house. I saw myself standing near the main door of my house during the ceremony. Everyone's heads were bent, listening to the chanting from the monk. Suddenly, right outside my door, I saw my Ah Gong standing there. He was waving at me and smiling his ever-so-kind smile. In merely a few seconds, he gave me a good-bye wave, turned around and walked away. The 6-year-old me was stunned. When I woke up, I slowly realised that Grandpa had appeared in my dream, he wanted to say good bye to me. It's a sign to me not to worry anymore, not to miss him anymore. Till this day, I can still remember that dream clearly. He will always be the Ah Gong I love.