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Friday, April 1, 2011

A is for…Ah Ma, I miss you.

Now and then, for the most part of yesterday I found myself wondering what to start this A to Z blogging challenge with. I kept thinking “A is for Ah Ma Teh Bok Nee”.

Ah Ma was my paternal grandmother. I tried to find a picture I took picture I took with her when I was little, at a church camp in Golden Sands, PD to put up with this post– but I couldn’t find it. But I don’t need a picture to remember her. I remember everything about her.

My Ah Ma was a gentle kindly old lady, as gentle as a Nyonya could be. She took care of me, my sister and our cousin Colin for most of our young lives. She had short curly hair that she constantly dyed as it greyed and small smiley eyes. She wasn’t fat as some old women are because she’d had to work very hard to bring up her five children, but she wasn’t small either because when her children grew up they loved her and gave to her, just as she had given to them. Among her brothers and sisters, she was always highly respected and whatever she said was law, because she was very wise.

She always smelled like talcum powder and I liked leaning on her because she was soft. Her earlobes had big holes in them because she had worn heavy earrings as they did in the past. She always told me that I looked nice whenever I wore red or pink, those must have been her favourite colours. She would call my house every Tuesday and chat with whoever picked up the phone.

My earliest memory with her is of me fighting with her and pulling the gold necklace she always wore around her neck because I didn’t want to get on the school bus to go kindergarten. I also remember her threatening to rub chilli on my eyes because I had been naughty and wanted to play with a boiling kettle of water. She eventually did, rub onions on my eyes, because I played with an electrical plug and got myself electrocuted.

I remember her making me her special maggi mee, where she used a wok to cook the noodles, instead of a pot. I would ask it from her all the time. She knew what I liked to eat, and always tried to cook my favourite dishes for me. She would make me luncheon meat sandwiches in the mornings, to eat before I went to school and a cup of milo. When my mom passed away and I went to live with Ah Ma, I remember always feeling safe whenever Ah Ma was around.

On evening in 2001, Ah Ma had just taken a bus from Melaka and was waiting at the bus station for someone to pick her up when a motorcyclist snatched her handbag. The impact caused her to fall and she hit her head on the curb. She fell into a coma and three days later she died. It breaks my heart knowing that I never got down to sharing Christ with my Ah Ma and I don’t know if I’ll ever see her again. Maybe He would have revealed Himself to her. She was such a good person.

We all miss her. The other day at a family gathering/karaoke session, someone picked the song “Lagenda” by Sheila Majid. Ko Chik (small aunt) wept singing the song, she said it reminded her of Ah Ma.

Ah Ma I miss you. When you left, I sat crying at the foot of the stairs staring at the chair where you used to sit and droop off to sleep, knowing how much I would miss seeing you do that. Ah Ma, we are your legacy. You taught us to be kind to everyone, no matter how they looked or how much money they have, or even if they were unkind. You taught us to work hard and value family, that as family we must always look out for each other. You taught us that the true value of a person is not in how much they earn, or what they know or don’t know, but in they way they respect other people, in the goodness of their hearts and in the kindness they show, even to the least deserving.

The song “Lagenda” might have been written as a tribute to Tan Sri P. Ramlee. But when we sing it, we sing about you.

Sejuta bintang di angkasa
Sinarnya mempesona
Sebutir bintang di taman seni
Cahayanya berseri
Biar bertahun masa beredar
Satu wajah satu nama takkan pudar

Tetap jelas di ruang mata
Setiap gerak gaya
Bergetaran merdu sinar
Di persada budaya
Hingga kini menjadi sebutan
Tetap terpahat namamu di ingatan

Kaulah satu satunya
Di antara berjuta
Insan teristimewa
Patah tak tumbuh lagi
Hilang belum berganti
Kerana kau tersendiri
Kau kebanggaan kita
Kau budayawan bangsa
Engkau lagenda

1 comment :

Susanna said...

Whee! You've started! :) Where's the B one? Faster lah, tomorrow's C already haha ;D

Aww your A post is so heartwarming. My grandmother just passed away last year actually. I now have no more living grandparents :(

Eh by the way, if you want to publicise your A to Z posts on Twitter, add the hash tag #atozchallenge when you put up the tweet with your blog post :) That way it'll link to the trend or feed or whatever-it-is-you-call-that.

Oh and add your blog name to the list of participants on this URL: http://www.tossingitout.blogspot.com/2011/01/very-special-and-exciting-announcement.html (click on the "Click to enter" link at the end of the post, before the comments section).

That way, lotsa random people will see you and come visit your blog and offer you comments/feedback. It's cool :)

Alright, see you around soon! :)