Wednesday, January 23, 2008

bye-bye ah poh

Saturday, 19th Jan
Close to midnight, I get a message from my cousin on MSN that granma's in hospital. Critical, he adds, and the doctor said she might go anytime.
I panic, since the last I talked to mum, granma was fine. She has had a few ailments and previous ops, but nothing major. I quickly call my mum to confirm. Why didn't I hear this from my parents? Parents have just come back from cell, and mum is about to leave to the hospital, as she and my aunts and uncles take turns to be with granma. Mum says she didn't want me to worry, and asks me to pray along for granma's recovery.

Sunday, 20th Jan
I wake up early, as I have a friend to bring over to church. Still feeling bad over last night's conversation, I get distracted and take the train in the wrong direction. End up late in meeting my friend, but still reach church in time for the few last worship songs. Glad to meet up with the people in the Bread of Life church, since this is the first time since I came back to Japan. Miss the warmth of fellowship this family-like church has.
Go off for a housewarming party and some final winter shopping, but thoughts of granma keep coming to mind. Is she alright? Will she make it? Will I see her again? Should I call my parents? Why hasn't anyone said anything??

Monday, 21st Jan
I head off to work, thanking God for another day. I still get that restless feeling. First time I have so many random thoughts running through my head. How else should I pray? Pray that granma will live longer so that I can still see her when I go back next? I should also prepare for the worst, should I start booking tickets? Can I afford it, since I just went back not too long ago? Should I call my parents? But I don't want to hear bad news. I badly need to know what's happening but I'm scared.
Boss and colleague seem to be in happy mood, while I try to be happy too. It's already 2 days, and nothing. Maybe this is just my mind being worried for nothing. Can't really concentrate, but have to push myself to focus. I keep pushing out the negative thoughts and hope for the best.

Tuesday, 22nd Jan
Feeling worse, I text my boss asking to work from home for the 1st part of the day. I try to get some copywriting done, but I have this awful feeling that something wrong must have happened. Since working from home doesn't really help to get this feeling away, I pack up and leave for the office.
Half the day is gone, and I'm counting the minutes away. About half an hour before I officially end, Gwen, a church & family friend messages me. She added me some time back, but has never messaged me before. She says sorry. I say, for what? She replies, something my granma. My head starts to reel, this cannot be true. I ask her, when did it happen? She gets confused, asked if this is MK, my Chinese name. I keep asking, what happened, when? She realises I don't know anything, and apologises again. Tells me that my granma passed away on Sunday, the memorial was yesterday and funeral today.
At this point, I feel like fainting, everything's a blur to me. My boss notices the change in me, and asks if I am ok. I have been trying to stop myself, but as soon as I mention my granma, the tears just keep flowing. This cannot be true. I keep looking at the last few text on the MSN, wondering why my parents didn't tell me. The tears just flow and my nose gets clogged up. The boss comes over and puts his arms around me. He tries to console me by asking what I remember most about my granma, and what she was like.
On the way back, I text some friends, who are aware about the situation when I chatted with them last Saturday. One of them, Jeny, from the church last Sunday calls and talks with me while I cry again. She prays for me, but I sense another call coming in. Could it be my parents? I want to so badly call them back immediately but what should I say? Why didn't you tell me earlier?
Without wasting too much time, I say a quick prayer and call my dad's handphone. The moment I hear his voice, I just can't control but ask him that question. He passes the phone to mum. Oh no, I should not have asked that question, I should maintain myself and be brave for my mum. Surprisingly, mum is taking it quite well. Apparently my dad tried to message me and my brother yesterday, but I didnt get it. My brother in UK did, and called back yesterday. My parents thought I needed some time to recover.
I ask many questions, and am assured that granma went away peacefully. We talk about what happened, and how she's taking it. Even though I am the one crying throughout the conversation, I feel better as I know my granma is at a better place, and her final wishes to be buried with granpa was fufilled.
She used to cook the best french fries and Hainanese chicken rice. I will always remember the quilt blankets she made for us and how she always fed us a good meal everytime we visited her. She's lived a good 90 years, lived to see her first great-grandson born, and has accepted the Lord. It's time to let her go, but I will miss her dearly.

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