The Grandfather

I read bits and pieces of the late Mr Wee Kim Hui’s funeral recently. I was especially touched by the words of his granddaughter, Hui Min. When my father-in-law went to the Lord in October last year, my 9-year old son missed him so much that he would cry to sleep every night. He would cry everytime when he do something that he used to do together with his grandfather.

When the Lord received my own mother back home in 2000, my daugther was also 9 years old. It took her a long, long time to get over it.

To my children, grandparents are their friends, companions, mentors and loving grandparents. And I know many grandparents are more than grandparents to the their grandchildren.

Here are bits and pieces that I pick up from the various news articles of what Mr Wee’s granddaughters had to say about him –

He lived
He was a man who loved life and lived it to the fullest.
A man who put himself up as a shinning example – in life and in death.

The granddaugther’s revelation : My grandpa wasn’t fuddy-duddy. He was fun.

He collected snuff bottles and coins, travelled the world, played sports, planted fruit tress and especially ‘loved the smell and taste’ of hazelnut coffee, ice-cream and chocolates.
How much?

So much that whenever his grandchildren dropped by at his workplace, he would give them a cheeky wink, open his drawer and fish out ‘a secret stash of Hawaiian macadamia nut chocolates’.

A secret he kept under lock and key, away from his disapproving but well-intentioned wife.
A sweet man with a sweet tooth.

His favourite ice-cream flavour? Rum and raisin.

The most vivid memory for Hui Min: Evening jaunts to the neighbourhood Baskin-Robbins ice-cream parlour in Japan when Mr Wee was Ambassador there.

She was just 10 and on holiday. But her grandpa indulged her (and himself) every day for a whole two weeks.

He learned
He is convinced that we go on learning till our last breath on this planet.
‘Every day is a new day.’

He loved
His love for humanity dwarfed only by his immeasureable love for his wife of 69 years.
She was ‘the rock of his wife’s life’.

‘His last thoughts were for her. They were holding hands when he finally went to sleep this Monday morning.’

He loved her so much he kept a special list of her favourite songs, lovingly typewritten and kept safely in a folder, ‘ready to be whipped out at any time’.

I thank my grandfather from the bottom of my heart, for showing what it really means to love another person. The stories of his life are to me, all stories about love.

He revered and respected life, even the life of an animal.

If you wish to honour his memory in your life – then live your life to the full, stand by your friends, cherish your family, listen to everyone with an open mind and welcome those who cross your path with an open heart.

What life. What love. What a great grandfather.


An Excuse for Everything

For a stretch of two days, I read about Britain’s “excuse system” (Oop, it’s educational system) in The Borneo Post’s World Update.

Yesterday, it reported with the headline, “Dead pets, kin mean higher grades for UK students”. Students can get extra points on their final exams if their close relatives or pets die. The official guidelines came to light yesterday.

This is applicable to A-level exam (equivalent to our STPM). A maximum of extra five percent for the recent death of a parent or close family member will be given. Four percent for a more distant family member and two percent for pets dies on exam day.

Sound like there is an excuse for everything.

Why not? The teacher finds excuses. Today’s report is about Prince Harry’s teacher, Sarah Forsyth. Sarah was dismissed by Eton College, a prestigious private school where the prince went to. Sarah is claiming unfair dismissal. In her statement, she said she had been ordered by a school administrator to help the young prince pass his art exam. She wrote virtually all the accompanying text for an art project submitted to external examiners by the prince.

While Sarah claimed that this is unethical and probably constituted to cheating, she had find an excuse that she had been forced to help the prince.

Huh? An excuse too?