Grandmother Stories

Helloooo! I’ve been horribly remiss about updating this blog – in the past few weeks, I experienced a pile-up of work, the boys came down with an assortment of flus, and my grandmother passed away.

So let’s just say it’s been BUSY.

Still, I wanted to say something about my grandmother. We called her Mama, and last week Mama went to glory at the age of 94. She was born in Indonesia, but lived most of her life in Singapore. She had four children, seven grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren. She spoke Teochew, a Chinese dialect which like other dialects in Singapore is no longer a language of everyday business. So as her grandchild, I always had difficulty communicating with her beyond basic functional conversation.

Yet I was never in doubt that she loved me. Hers was not a love that manifested in an endless stream of toys. Indeed, I don’t think I can remember a single toy she bought me. But there was a time in my life where she would babysit me, and she cooked wonderful meals of porridge and fish that are today still comfort foods for me. I remember her making 5 stones and pyjamas for me out of leftover fabric. They were never the most fashionable-looking, but I won many a 5 stone contest with the ones she made, and the pyjamas were oh so comfortable. And let me also say Mama had a wild side – she taught me how to roll paper cigarettes for her and play Si Sek (a gamblers game using long strips of coloured cards) 🙂

At her funeral, we put up a board of memories, and it seemed no-one else doubted her love for us either. How true it is that love goes well beyond the limitations of language!

So here’s to my Mama – for a life well lived and a legacy that lives on.



One response to “Grandmother Stories

  1. I’m so sorry to hear about your grandmother … what a wonderful woman. Her picture is gorgeous, and it sounds like there was indeed no doubt that she loved you.

    Please forgive the late comment.


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