I was blessed to have a very wonderful Father-in-law. His name is See Ser Kan. He was born in 1936, and left us in 2002 at the age of 66 after succumbed to cancer.
My FIL adored children. If he were alive today, he’ll be enjoying a total of 15 lovely grandchildren in 2 months to come.
I remember how happy he was during the full moon celebration of my newborn son. He drank a lot that night even though he was not a good drinker. I couldn’t blame him. His first grandson made him an immensely proud grandpa... so it was a milestone worth celebrating! I hope my son would carry on his family name and his grandpa’s bloodline with pride, honour & dignity.
Also, he had some musical talents. He sang well & knew how to play Chinese musical instrument “er hu”. He even picked up dancing during his golden years. There was a time my MIL helped in taking care of my elder daughter in the “kampung”. I was told my FIL enjoyed my then 3-year old girl very much, and both of them had spent many wonderful evenings dancing together. I could imagine how proud he would be if he’s still around today to listen to my daughter playing the clarinet, saxophone, and piano.
When I was pregnant with my youngest daughter, my MIL desperately hoped it’s a boy again. I was grateful to my FIL for telling me “boy or girl, as long as the baby is healthy.” I’ll forever remember his kind and comforting words. I wish my little girl would grow up to be a capable and confident young lady. I’m sure that will make her gramps smile in heaven. (he passed away when my baby girl was only 3 months old)
My FIL was a very thrifty man. A relative once teased him for his torn inner garment. Nevertheless, he’s generous to others. He’s a kind-hearted man who donated money to those in need, and lent out money to friends and relatives. He’s very supportive of his children’s education. My hubby remembered him as a doting father who’s generous & ever willing to spend on books and any other items related to education.
He loved to read out loud. He especially loved to read the Bahasa Malaysia newspaper. Even though he did not complete his university degree in Singapore after his father’s demise, he had a strong desire for knowledge. He’s one of the most educated men in his kampung and was frequently invited to give speeches during wedding dinners.
Another proud moment of his arrived when he was invited to the palace to receive the honourable title of P.P.N. Having contributed to the local community, it was surely a title well deserved.
Oh yes, My FIL loved durians! He planted his own durian trees after being cheated by a durian seller. He owned more than 100 trees! Even though the orchard is now only left with trees bearing the most delicious durians, I’m sure his legacy of love and hope will live on forever!
He was a courageous man. I recall seeing him on his bike to the durian orchard after he’s diagnosed with cancer. He’s brave in fighting the disease and had set a good example for all of us.
Most of all, he’s very understanding and was the best Father-in-law I could ever asked for. He told my MIL it’s OK even though I was not good at running the household chores. He could see the effort I put into my work and praised me for spending time reading to my kids after work. I’m blessed to have a FIL who adored me.
My father-in-law had raised 7 good children. Even though he’s no longer with us, we’ll cherish him forever. I wish my kids could have known him better.
**written a week before Ching Ming which falls on 5 April 2011