Grandpa was tall.
He never looked like a typical old man.
I've always had trouble remembering his age.
Because he looked younger than his real age.
He was 89.
When Grandpa walked,
He walked with a certain vigour that most men his age could not match.
He was strong.
He had balding white-grey hair,
A cheeky look in his eyes.
And a cheeky grin to go with it.
Back in my childhood,
Grandpa was like a giant.
Because to me he was always this big strong figure.
In my innocence,
I thought he was stronger than my dad.
And maybe he was, at the time.
I remember back then, I'd always bounce on his knee.
He'd carry me around,
And he'd tell me how small and light I was.
He did this until I turned 8,
By then I was told to be too old to be carried around like a baby.
However I'd still beg for it sometimes,
And he'd indulge me despite my age, and how heavy I'd gotten.
He was a little over 60 at the time.
That's how strong my grandpa was.
During the course of his illness,
On his last birthday,
He was so small and frail, I nearly couldn't recognise him.
It was like he would break at the slightest touch.
Then it came.
It was raining heavily that day.
I was getting ready for a reunion with my primary school classmates,
When we got a call from my aunts.
My grandfather had lost his life to colon cancer.
I remember crying a lot.
I remember going to his funeral.
Although I saw him in his coffin,
I half expected him to spring back to life,
Demanding to be let out of that confounded box.
He never did.
When they sent him to be cremated,
I wanted them to stop.
I was afraid he'd be afraid of the fire.
I had delusions of him screaming for help in the heat of the furnace.
I nearly cried for them to stop.
Then a sudden realisation hit me,
Grandpa was dead.
The flames may burn as hot as they can,
The body in the coffin can't feel a thing,
It didn't move, much less scream.
He's not coming back.
I guess it took a while for me to realise that.
Or rather, to accept it.
Because out of all my grandparents, he was the closest to me.
He left the biggest impact on my life.
I remember when he first got news that I was enlisted for National Service,
He insisted to come to KL to see me (grandpa lived in Penang).
My tenderest moment with him,
Was when he showed me his violin.
It was his most precious thing,
And I felt honored that he showed it to me.
Grandpa was always this person that I loved to please.
It's like, when I see him happy or proud or showing any sign of emotion to me,
It gave me great joy.
Grandpa was never really an intense person.
It's probably because he's a typical China man.
They don't really show emotions.
If I said "I love you" to him,
He'd say "Thank you."
There would be no "I love you, too."
After the funeral,
I dreamed of him.
My whole family did,
But I think I saw him the most.
Around, 4 times, then it stopped.
The rest of my family only saw him once, I think.
Some were happy dreams,
Some were painful.
I'm no Buddhist.
In fact, I'm Christian.
But I'd give anything to see him in my dreams again.
I've never really gotten over the loss.
I don't think I ever will.
In fact, as I type this I can feel the tears formulating in my eyes.
But you know what they say about the ones you love?
That they never really do leave as long as you keep them in your heart?
Because I find that whenever I miss him,
I think back on the memories I shared with him,
I think of how he would react to different situations,
And he lives again.