Sunday, March 27, 2011

In loving memory of my father-in-law…

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

Friday, March 25, 2011

Turning Ikea lamp into a vase

Saw an Ikea ad recently. I love that Stranne lamp very much. The most interesting feature is the bendable arms that allow you to adjust & vary the shape of the lamp. I bought one before Chinese New Year to replace the same model I bought a few years ago.

The old lamp's synthetic rubber arms turned yellowish & brittle after a few years.

But all the light bulbs are still good.

I detached the top portion from the nickel-plated steel base.

My brand new lamp. As for the old one, I've turned it into...

a modern-looking flower vase.

Monday, March 14, 2011

"There's A Ghost In Our School!!!"

One afternoon when I was home for lunch, my 2 daughters couldn't wait to tell me the big news of the day...

TH: Mom, there's a ghost in our school! It's kind of creepy...

Mom: How do you know?

TH: One of the prefects told me. She said the headmaster got someone to come & "catch" the ghost.

Mom: Are you sure?

TH: YES! It's inside the music room of the new hall. My friends said the ghost wears red and sings "NegaraKu" (our national anthem?!)

Mom: Wow! That must be a very patriotic ghost. Well...actually we shouldn't call it a ghost. It is a good SPIRIT. So you girls don't need to be scared even if you see it.

TH: They said our school used to be a hospital during wartime. Maybe what TZ (her youngest sister) said was right. The horrible thunder and lightning recently must have awoken the dead... really freaks me out!!!

Mom: But come to think about it, maybe someone in your school purposely spread the rumors so that no one dares to step into that music room inside the new hall.

At this point, my youngest daughter TZ joined in and gave her opinion below.

TZ: I think that ghost is 100 years old.

It took me awhile to understand what she meant. Apparently once I told her according to Chinese custom, if a person lives long enough (eg 100 years old) and has great grandchildren, the family member will wear red during the funeral to "celebrate" the deceased's full life. But I don't think I ever told her the deceased wears red too...

Kids really have very good imagination, so I refrained myself from explaining to them why some of the dead are wearing red...

Friday, March 4, 2011

Tattoo! Body Piercing??!!

A conversation over dinner last evening...

TJ (my son) : Mom, can I have REAL tattoo?

Mom : NO!!!

TJ : But WHY!??

Mom: Of course you can't! It's permanent. It'll be painful if you want to remove it next time.You can just put a removable one like what you did this morning.

TJ : But my friend has a real one. She did it in Bali. It's quite cool.....

Mom : NO means NO. According to an article, it may be dangerous and ....

At this point, my teenage son interrupted and protested again that most of the time I would say NO to the things he wanted.


Mom : OK. You can do anything you want.

TJ : Really??!! Woohoo!!! So I can have a real tattoo? And I can have body piercing too?

Mom : YES. I said you can do anything you like.

You should see how excited my son was. Unfortunately his excitement was quickly dampened by his wise sister TH who said something unexpected.

TH : You know... usually when parents say "You can do anything you want" means they're going to let you learn your lesson.