My grandfather was truly a free-spirit. In his 84 golden years, I was lucky to have shared a quarter of his life with him, sharing joys, sorrows, anger and sadness and more. My grandfather was like no other – and I mean it. He lived life to the full or even beyond that. (Case in point – he had long greying hair) The the love he shared, the adventures he went on, the jobs he had, was extraordinary – and we, his grandchildren, would earnestly listen to his stories and watching his face light up.
The most lasting memory I had with my granddad when I was still a kid, was, well, not a particularly joyous one. As far as I can remember, I can be quite the rebellious child and there was this day that my granddad was scolding me and I was retaliating like a machine gun. And apparently I was so rude, my grandad plastered a slap across my face. It was that momentous that I still remember the exact location at my grandparent’s house that it happened and the scene. He still hold the honors of being the only person to have slapped me in my life. Not your perfect memory but it taught me so many lessons.
My granddad and I shared almost the same birth date, 22nd and 23rd February, and we would almost always celebrate our birthdays together and I am very grateful to have shared the memories with him.
He was a more than doting grandfather to his 7 grandchildren. He would often buy delicacies from across the border and spoil us. The trips he brought us to to Malaysia were always a treat – he would order the best dishes the restaurant offers and ferries us around in taxis. We were diamonds in his eyes. He doted on us like no other grandfather could. He took care of us tirelessly and I’ve never heard a word of complaint.
A tough man my granddad was. He was a teacher and principal at a school in Malaysia before he went on the pursue his dreams in dancing and became a dance instructor. He taught anything from Ballroom, the Cha Cha, Tango, the Waltz, amongst others. He was a damn good instructor – constantly bringing his troops overseas for competitions and winning awards. And all these he did well till the day he was called to the Lord.
I have fond memories of my granddad trying to teach all his grandchildren how to dance over Chinese New Periods when we all gather at his house and how we all have 2 left feet. Sadly, we do not possess his amazing dancing skills.
He was so supportive of me going overseas to study and chasing my dreams and the words he said to me the night before I flew over the the US will forever stay carved on my heart and his support for me, I will never forget. It kills me that I will not be able to see him off on his final journey and say goodbye to the person who has so unconditionally supported and help raise me for 23 years. I’m so sorry 爷爷 that I can’t be there to say my final goodbyes to you. Thank you for the magical 23 years.
My granddad left a legacy behind which many will remember him by. He had such a huge network of friends who will miss him dearly, 3 loving children and their spouses, 7 grandchildren who will keep him in their hearts forever, and of course, his ever so dedicated, loving, tolerating, patient, giving, unassuming and big-hearted wife he leaves behind will pine for him everyday of her life. We will meet again one day, in paradise and I will be able to see your radiant smile and face once again, 爷爷. I love you so much and you will be sorely missed.
This is not the end. A new life begins with The Lord in Paradise. We celebrate his life and the love, care and joy he brought to his family and the people around him. In the arms of an angel, he will find eternal peace and rest in Heaven.
May the choirs of angels come to greet you,
May they speed you to paradise.
May the Lord enfold you, in his mercy,
May you find eternal life.
In Loving Memory
Wong Yue Kun
22.02.1929 – 21.08.2013