Seems Ferrydust was down for a while..dunno how long..but it’s okay now (thanks Jason)..
We’re still in Penang..i’m currently in an internet ‘cafe’ in an arcade game place on the top floor of One Stop… the nearby mall near my grandfather’s house.. dad’s on the ground floor accessing wireless at Dave’s Deli..
This will be brief cuz time is limited and this keyboard is kind of tough to type on (gotta slam the keys like a typewriter..)
On the evening of January 1, 2005, my grandfather passed away in his home..surrounded by 7 of his 8 children (the 8th was in transit from Japan)..and many of his 17 grandchildren. He did make it to the new year, though not to Chinese New Year nor his birthday (which he had basically told us a few months before, he was not expecting to be around then.) Leukemia finally claimed him..though he didn’t exactly know that’s what was killing him… He was going to turn 90 in April, by some accounts… by others he was already 93. My grandmother passed away two years earlier; she also died with all her children around her. My mother was here (in Malaysia) at that time. This time, my brother and father and I were also here for my grandfather’s passing. Ultimately, this is why we came to Malaysia this time, at this time—to spend time with Kong-Kong one last time before he left. The resting place of his physical remains are with Ma-Ma now at Kek Lok Si temple. The past week has since been a series of funeral processions and prayers… I will certainly have photographs (a good hundred or so to put together) and a more involved written account of all of that eventually…
Emotions are mixed… he lived a very strong and full life… the family is strong and well… Kong-Kong’s dog, Mole (often called Mole-Mole which sounds like ‘Moh-Moh’ or Moles), seems to me to be the saddest one of all. The younger cousins (age 4-11) asked questions: “Why did Kong-Kong go to heaven?”, and when the hearse brought the coffin to the house and left it there and drove away, one asked anxiously: “Then who will take Kong-Kong to heaven??”, and when we were all walking behind the car carrying the coffin with Kong-Kong in it, and all of the 8 children (my mother and her siblings) each had a hand on the car to show support, the little kids thought they were pushing the car, and all ran to the back of the car and really put their backs into it, to make sure the car kept moving…later asked about it, they said they knew it wasn’t their strength alone that was moving the car, but they’d thought “cuz Kong-Kong is so heavy-one, so they need help!”
Near my grandfather’s resting place at Kek Lok Si is the marker of someone who apparently was a Penang fisherman..passed away on December 26, 2004… the tsunami took him. The tsunami continues to be the dominating subject in the newspaper and on the television.
We’re not sure where we’ll be over the next couple weeks… There’s talk of travelling around Malaysia… We’ll see.
I do hope things are well with everyone else…. I do feel rather cut off from the world and people/places familiar, without constant internet access… but it really is good to be around my family here, and back ‘home’.. in some ways..
Very best regards,