Happy Birthday to Alexander!
Happy Birthday to Tim! I don’t know if you received my SMS.
Anyway, just got back from Merlimau and it was great to see Grandpa again.
Mum went into his room and asked, “Who am I?”
He spoke my mother’s name.
“Who’s this?” Mum pointing to cousin sister.
He spoke my cousin sister’s name too. This is achievement because he didn’t even think about it. He just spoke.
“What about her?” Mum, pointing to me.
He looked at me. Studied me but he didn’t know who I am.
Mummy reminded him who I am and it sort of registered to him for a while.
He was then asked again who we are and this time he thought I’m Iris because he kept saying, “Wei Wei”.
He seemed happy because Mummy said he’s smiling. And after that, he studied me even longer.
Grandpa is not as talkative as he used to be but he would answer when asked. I was sitting with Mummy and Aunty who was looking after the shop (the shop is in the house) and attending to the customers.
He suddenly said, “Geled”
Geled (pronounced something like gelek) is my name. Grandpa couldn’t pronounce my name “Grace” properly so it ended up as “Geled” and has since then being used to call me. I don’t know why Mum didn’t want to use my Chinese name so that it would be easier for him to call me. But I guess he wanted to call me like how mum would call me so even though he couldn’t pronounce it properly, he still tried to and I think that is so dear.
He drew the bowl he was holding towards me. Know what he did? He was offering me grapes. So happy!
Later in the afternoon, he came out of the room. I smiled at him. Know what he did? He hit me on the back lightly. It’s like he’s trying to say, “Hey, apa senyum-senyum?”
Funny!We laughed and he laughed.
I have never stayed just for a night at Grandpa’s place because the minimum we would always stay is a week. Mummy used to fly back every year, bringing me and Iris to visit Grandpa during our school holidays and it’s so fun to be in the kampung. We walk with the roosters, hens and go collecting chicken eggs. It’s also a place where I learnt how to ride the bicycle, where I fell too (it hurt so much!) and where my uncle would let me ride with him on the motorbike to town to get ice cream for me at night.
It’s not as fun as it used to be anymore after Grandma passed away. Grandpa was sad and depressed and he was feeling so lonely. He got sick and it’s only now that he’s starting to do well again.
Before we left today, he was sitting on the lazy chair, watching us as we packed.
Mummy then told me to give him some money. Why have I never thought of that?
I took the RM100 which Mummy gave to me and I took his hand and placed it in his palms. He was a little surprise I suppose and he didn’t say anything. It’s as if he’s thinking deeply.
I bid farewell and went into the car. It was then Mummy wanted me to get the newspaper and so I had to go into the house again and this time it was only me and Grandpa.
As I was searching for the papers, he said, “Xie Xie.” Thank you.
It felt so warm. I like the feeling and now my eyes is filled with a tear or two as I’m writing this.
I told him to take good care of himself and I’ll come to visit him again.