Ah Ma, everyone’s fine
In remembrance of Tan Gey, 1st November 2007
Red Packet: The final gift from Ah Ma
Today, my sister reminded me through her e-mail (an e-mail to ask for my help to check her Japanese essay for the coming final term exams this week) that it has been a year since my grandma from Dad’s side had passed away. I recall vividly of the whole dramatic year I had in 2007 for certain parts of it still lingers around up to now. It started off with me not doing well with my final year project back in degree but I eventually got through it, somehow graduated and continued on with my masters. Before beginning my masters, I was having a tough time securing a scholarship to support my 2 years tuition fees and daily life expenses since my contract with the government scholarship had ended in March, 2007.
It was then when I got to know about Ah Ma’s situation. (That is how I call my grandma from Dad’s side) Pancreas cancer, final stage and the doctor confirmed that she would only last for about half a year for the cancerous cells are spreading rapidly to her other internal organs. I was shattered to know the fact that she’d be leaving us soon and since life wasn’t at the right beat that time, feeling helpless for I was miles away from Ah Ma here in Japan and filled with anxiety after being rejected by a few scholarship foundations, simply put I was not enjoying life at all. Again, somehow I persisted and the current scholarship foundation supporting me found me to be suitable to be one of their 26 scholars of the year which I am real thankful for without it, I guess I would’ve decided to quit masters and return home for good.
Well, soon after that, I decided to make a trip back home to visit Ah Ma, after a few times that I thought I could not see her anymore before she leaves us. She was being hospitalized when I was back home. The last thing she gave me was a red packet with a RM50 note in it. I understood and felt the love so much and I still keep the red packet in my wallet even right to now. While I was back home, many incidents happened which includes a serious brother fight between my youngest uncle and my Dad. I can’t help myself being all softy at that time, tears were running out of control and that is when my heart ached the most that despite being the eldest grandson of Ah Ma’s, I couldn’t do anything to make things better. I still feel the same up till now.
Anyway, I was reluctant to return to Japan but my stay back then was only for 10 days. I had to come back to Japan because I had another challenge that I had in my mind that needed to be solved as well because it was regarding my future; yes, the dreadful job hunting. Actually, at the same time, my grandparents from Mom’s side weren’t doing well too. Grandma with a bad heart and had a small heart-attack then, but she’s fine now. Grandpa had a mini stroke that had made him bed-ridden and he too left us last June this year. So, the trip home was to see my dear grandparents from both sides. On my flight back to Japan, I was devastated.
Well, to continue on with the story, Ah Ma left us for good on November 1st, 2007. No one can tell how hurt it felt to be here all alone, it did felt like the end of the world. The very next day, I went to a seminar of company with heavy legs and continued to put on a smile throughout the whole thing. I did informed the fact to the HR representative who was touched that I came after all. Anyway, this was one of the 3 job offers I got. On that weekend, I was scheduled for a Tohoku Trip and I was going to cancel it and find ways to go back home for Ah Ma’s funeral but everyone at home said it was okay. My good friends were kind enough to cheer me up and of course, we had a good time but my heart was thinking about home all the time.
After coming back from the trip, I stayed over at my good friends’ place for I really needed company and that is when I called home to ask about the funeral and to talk to everyone back home. After the call, I was so depressed that I had to just take it out. The two good friends were kind enough to comfort me and you know who you are and thanks. Overall, it was good friendship that has taken me through all the hardships. Friendship can sometimes provide more than what family can. Life’s always been challenging for myself as much as it has been a great one for me. It just makes feel that I should appreciate more of the people who are acquainted to me through blood or even through any type of relationship.
A message for Ah Ma
Ah Ma, it’s been a year already.
Life’s going on fine for me right now and
I must say for the rest of our Soh family as well.
it must be for all the prayers and blessings you’ve showered us with.
Visited Gong-gong this year, he’s healthy but of course, he misses you dearly.
Tina just got married and the rest of the cousins seem to be doing real good.
I’ve secured a job for myself already and trying to enjoy what’s left of my student life.
I still have your red packet and it always reminds me of you.
Love you and missing you, home in Muar was different without you
but I can hear you say, “Life must go on”.
Ah Ma, please continue to shower us with your love and blessings.
Your eldest grandson,
P.S. That is how my family calls me by my Chinese name taken from the last character “仁” repeated.