Tuesday, July 29

My family was supposed to visit my granny (paternal) this evening, as she had taken quite a fall some days ago & hasn't been able to eat.

She passed away this morning, at age 94. She couldn't even wait for us to see her one last time.

We are not as close as most grandparents & their grandchildren should be, as my granny speaks only Teochew, & I don't understand dialect. But she is my last grandparent, & she was the most hands-on granny.

She would come out to Singapore on her own when she was already 70+, & she would stay over at my place.

She would insist on folding the laundry (& I would secretly refold them all coz' she did the laundry in the most unusual way).

She would insist on bouncing whichever baby my mom was babysitting to sleep (& she would do it quite hard indeed, because my brother once fell out of the baby hammock while she was bouncing him to sleep).

She would secretly switched off our fans in the middle of the night because she was cold, & we would wake up at 3 AM sweaty.

She would wake up at 6 AM, & wake all of us up because that's the time she thinks everyone should wake up.

She insisted my aunts & uncles bring her to do her hair & pierce her ears as she wanted to look nice for my sister's wedding.

She was always active & moving around, up to the day she suffered from a stroke which weakened one side of her body, so much so she had to use a crutch to walk & later on in her last years, she was confined to a wheelchair.

She always spoke to me in Teochew & I would try my best to understand her, & if I didn't, she would gesture around & I would yell for my mom & my ah ma would laugh.

She always asked me whether I did well in my studies, & whether I was first in class. She asked me that even on my previous visit to see her.

She was old, wizened, very wrinkly, but my 1 year-old niece wasn't scared of her, & loved tugging at her wispy white hair.

Even though we weren't very close, she was my ah ma, who tried her best to communicate with her grandchildren even though we could hardly understand her.

& so, I did cry. I didn't know why she couldn't wait for us for just half a day to see her one last time. Why she couldn't live to a 100 (we thought she would, & for a couple of years, talked about her 100 celebration).

I'll be out of range for the next few days, till perhaps Thursday. If you're trying to get to me, call Daryl. He knows how to get to me.

(Just last week, I was telling my classmates that my grandma MIGHT not be around for my wedding as it'll be some 4 or 5 years from now, & I don't know if that jinxed her. :( Now I feel guilty.)

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