He lived to a ripe age of 91 :)
Earlier this year during Chinese New Year he was still looking healthy. He had short term memory loss, so most of our conversations in limited teochew (on my part) would consist of him asking me the same questions every five minutes:
"Are you working in KL now?"
"Is Jontzen still in Shanghai?"
His long term memory of me is up til around 2005 when I graduated from uni and started work in KL, and that was also when my brother was already working in Shanghai. So to him, I was still the fresh grad who just moved to KL, just rented a room, with new surroundings to adapt to.
I never got tired of answering his questions though. "Yes I am working in KL, this is Sen Kiat my husband, we got married last year.." It was kinda cute yet sad at the same time.
His wife, my grandmother, had passed away many years ago. I always asked my parents if he would remember that she was no longer around, or would he wake up in the mornings startled at the disappearance of his wife from his side.
He got really sick a few months back. From the healthy man I saw during Chinese New Year, he had suddenly become so frail that it hurt to recognize him. Skin to the bones and cheeks sunken in, he was admitted to hospital a few times.
Ah kong. I wished I spoke more teochew. I told you I love you in English and I think you understand that right? Every moment spent with you then onwards was more precious than gold. Feeding you porridge at the hospital, wiping your eyes, putting on your socks for you, massaging your ankles and shoulders... Will it ever be enough to show you that I love you dearly?
I didn't cry that much when I found out that he had left. I guess we all saw it coming and it was just a matter of time. But as I write this my tears are rolling down.
Ah kong. I wished I was there to send you off to the Lord. Still, it would never compare to the welcome of the angels above.
Love you, ah kong :)