|a pretty a day is here and away|

Documenting life's beauty, as seen through the eyes of a lady blessed with everything a girl could dream of, and more: five gorgeous kids, patient and providing husband, an adorable dog, a very cheeky frog, and still time enough to get crafty and creative in the kitchen or with my trusty needles, thread and yarn!
The joys of being Queen of the household! Rejoice, and the world joins in!

Friday, May 13, 2011

May 12: No more longing; A final passage

Despite the overtone of grief and solemnity, I was happy to see so many people whom Pa loved, and who loved Pa, gathered in the place where so many of our firm friendships formed: 95A Old Airport Road. It all felt like things had come round full-circle.

Everything that has transpired from 8 May, the day Pa returned to our Heavenly Father's arms, and today, when we walked with him one final time, has definitely changed us all. I am glad that things went smoothly, and that we were able to pay him a good final tribute through our nightly prayers and a meaningful mass. All his grandchildren had a part to play in Pa's mass. I remember him enjoying their little show-and-tell sessions, whether they were performing a music piece or reading off a book, and I imagine him smiling in the company of angels as he watched their last earthly gift to him.

The walk down the aisle of the church had much meaning for me. Twenty-six years ago, Pa proudly walked me down the same aisle, wearing his grey safari suit, to present me for marriage. Yesterday, I joined my family, his grandchildren in tow, and walked him down the aisle, to present him to heaven.

Mel delivered the eulogy. Here's Melissa's tribute to my pa:

All the world's a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances,
And one man in his time plays many parts, and lives through many ages.

In his time, Andrew was a friend, a brother, a husband, a father, a father-in-law, brother-in-law. To us, he was grandpa. We always hear so many stories about grandpa when he was younger, but of course we only knew him in more recent years.

People we meet always say that Grandpa was strong and tough, and Grandma has a photograph of Grandpa hunting to prove it. He is standing with a huge gun, with one foot on a dead wild boar.

He rode a motorcycle and had a revolver because he was a policeman. Of course, I always thought that this was the picture of cool.

But to his grandchildren, Grandpa was mellow and gentle.

For the 19 years that I have known Grandpa, I remember him most for his smile, because it was always slightly mischievous.

Grandpa always seemed to notice when I had just done something clumsy. At one mooncake festival party, I accidentally toppled a tray of mooncakes, and there Grandpa was, smiling at me with the twinkle in his eye. I always felt quite silly but he wouldn't say anything, so neither would I.

I imagine the same twinkle in his eye when as a boy, Grandpa escaped with his brother back to Singapore after they were sent to the Batu Pahat boys home in Malaysia. That must have been a great adventure.

If all the world's a stage, I'm honored to deliver this eulogy at Grandpa's curtain call.

Grandpa has played so many different roles in each of our lives. I am glad to have known him.

He will be remembered fondly by Grandma, his children, and all of us as a generous man who bought durians by the baskets and always loved a good meal. On his next great adventure, I wish him eternal happiness. Till we meet again.

The brother, who Pa ran away from the boys home with, passed away exactly one year ago. I'm sure they're off on some new path, which must hold more appeal than any path in our mortal world.

May God bless and keep you always, Pa.

I took a photo of my accessories for today. I will never look at this pair of earrings, this watch, this ring, this hairband, necklace... the dress that I picked... I will never look at them the same way again.

And a little dedication to my mother, Gloria, who should be glad to be alive, and learn to embrace life and live it like she should.

You see I'm just a little man, trying hard to understand
What kind of living is a life if I can't stand on my own two feet

You see we are looking for the same thing
And we are trying to survive
But I know each day in life don't get much easier than the last
So today I'm just glad to be alive

And I'm singing
Gloria, Gloria, Gloria, stay by my side
Gloria, Gloria, Gloria, I'm glad to be alive
Glad to be alive

I think that life is a blessing
And every step, every lesson
You want for love and protection
To those in me

To all my mothers and fathers
And all the angels and saints
I'm so glad to be alive

Seems like there's never enough time to do the things I wanna do
And it never ends
But at the end of the day I might not have no money to count or spend
But I know I can count on all my friends

And you call on me
See we are looking for the same thing
And we are trying to survive
And I know each day in life with you gets better than the last
So today I'm just glad to be alive



  1. What a beautiful sharing of your heart and mind. I don't like funerals and I hate attending but this eulogy by Mel made me feel I missed something.

    I remember him for his smile too. He had a "knowing" smile.

  2. Aww Aunty Lita!

    I just got a message from Uncle Stephen saying I missed you today at church :( Well I told him that my momma's keepin the best for last ;)' Can't wait to finally meet, I've a feeling it's gonna be pretty soon! Heehee...

  3. Mel,

    I love the song "Save the best for last" and I can't wait to meet you IRL.



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