Thursday, December 25, 2014

Remembering Grandma on Christmas Day

On this slightly chilly Christmas morning in Bangkok, I can't help but think of my Grandma, who passed away somewhat suddenly more than a week ago. Christmas is a season of thanksgiving, and a day for us to remember the birth of Jesus Christ. I would like to use this opportunity to give my tribute to my Grandma, who also happens to be my kin who is the closest to her faith in the Lord, and how she has left a lasting impression not only by the way she lived, but also by the way she left.

With the blessing of my wife, I left her alone in Bangkok with the 2 kids to do my part as a grandson, to participate in my Grandma's funeral proceedings, and I am glad I did so, because through the process, looking at how much she was respected by her brothers and sisters in church, and through various speeches done in memory of her, I am now prouder than ever to say that I am her grandson.

During the weekend in Sibu, 2 things struck me the most, and these are valuable lessons that I am going to share with my readers here, in hope that it might give you a different perspective of life as well.

Firstly, it is the fact that my Grandma did not sit back in her elder years. While many might choose to take the backseat due to various reasons, she pushed on. During my Uncle's speech in memory of her, he helped my Grandma share some milestones that she herself wanted everyone to know (written in her will):

"回想上帝呼召摩西当年也是年达80 岁,赴埃及带领以色列人出埃及,经过40 年旷野生活,最后还是完成使命,让以色列人进入迦南流乳与蜜之地,完成了他名垂永世的功绩。

Just like Moses in the book of Exodus, my Grandma was called by the Lord to become the leader of her Church's senior fellowship at the ripe old age of 80. While many might see that age as the twilight of one's life, she grew stronger than ever. She drove around and led her fellowship to various activities locally and abroad, just like Moses, who successfully led his people out of Egypt. She billed this as an amazingly satisfying highlight in her life, to be able to expand the Lord's empire in her final years.

So can we also make ourselves useful and fight beautiful battles right till the day we die?

This picture taken in October is now a priceless treasure in my photo collection

Secondly, she left a lasting impact on all her descendants even if she left without a word. Throughout my 3 days there, I made it a point to ask many relatives whether she had a proper closure, or said what she said before her last breath, the answer was, yes and no, that she did not manage to speak before she left, but it's even more likely that she had nothing left to say.

She wrote her one and only wish in her will, and that is the hope that all her family from top to bottom will go to church together.

When I heard that, I was stunned, because it was so simple, yet so impactful. It told me one thing, that even when we die (if circumstances permit), we have a choice to go quietly, or go out with a bang. It's an opportunity to use this as a finale to leave a positive influence to the ones who continue to live.

Grandma certainly went with one big bang, because now, every single one of us will live everyday with her final wish engraved in our hearts.

Grandma, when I went back with Noah in October it was really to say hello. You were obviously on the up when we left, so I really did not expect it to turn out as a last goodbye.

You left in a hurry, but I hope in some way, I had made you proud to have me as a grandson, and that you were comforted when your eldest great grandson held your hand multiple times during our visit.

This Christmas, you are no longer with us.

But you are with the Lord now, the Lord for whom you fought and won various handsome battles for.

And you are with Grandpa again, after more than 40 years.

I am sure you have never had a merrier one.

1 comment:

  1. Eddie, your grandma is seated next to our Lord Jesus just like Veronn. Till we meet them again one day.


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