Sunday, 23 March 2008

Remembering My Father

A little bit more of my Dad.

This is a photo of Dad walking me down the aisle on my wedding day, 2 June 2001.

He was almost blind as he had retinal detachment, and he actually had a prosthetic leg. He had a below knee amputation (left) due to an infection on the foot that ate into his bones. He agreed to the amputation when the doctor suggested it because he knew it was either to lose a leg or to lose his life.

He was very brave about that losing his leg. In fact, when he came out of surgery, we were all anxious and asked how he felt. His response was, "OK. I'm ok. Now I can join the cacat (handicap) race." We burst out laughing. We were the only family members of a patient laughing at the waiting lounge.

He always carried a 2 litre dextrose solution in his abdomen as that is his dialysis treatment - peritoneal dialysis. The solution was to be changed 4 times a day in a sterile room and measured and recorded every time. He also had to take a certain jab 2 times a week to help build red blood cells. I, as the "nurse", handled the dialysis treatment and administered the jabs too. Our frequent visits to University Hospital made us a familiar face to many of the medical staff, security guards and canteen operators.

His constant worry was money, rather, the lack of it, as he could no longer work and he did not have an insurance policy that covered critical illnesses. On better days, when we would tease him, and tell him he could try sitting in the pasar malam (night market) without his prosthetic leg and play his guitar and we'll see how much he could collect. Of course it was all in jest and we'd all laugh.

Gadget-daddy and I talked a few times about what it would have been like if he's still around. He'd have been a really fun and funny grandpa.
He'd have played nursery rhymes on the guitar for the boys and even taught them some simple oldies.
He'd have made funny faces at the boys and taught them to roll their eyes.
He'd have teased them with his stump and let the boys play with his fake leg.
He'd have told them jokes and confused them, and we, the parents would have to undo some silliness.
He'd have given them rides on his lap while he's on the wheel chair when shopping at the mall.
He would definitely tickle them, blow raspberry on them, cuddle them and kiss them.
His early passing on is a great loss to my boys.

Dad died in his sleep in Novenber 2001. It was a Wednesday, pre-dawn. The phone rang at about 6.30am and I jumped out of bed. I already sensed it was bad news. It was a few months after my wedding, about one and a half month shy of his birthday. He would have been 56 that year.

Tea ceremony at home.
Mom sitting with Dad.


A gift from God said...

I can see that you missed your dad dearly. You are lucky to have a family that you are close to. I never really enjoyed that when I was younger. I envy you dear. :)

It's really touching what you wrote.

neomesuff said...

ya..very touching..
His will power is amazing...

JLow said...

Again, thanks for sharing such personal memories with us. I think in jotting these down, your kids, among others, will at least have something to read about you, their grand dad, and the soft side of life...

I don't know why, but if it were me, the thing I would remember most would be the guitar playing / singing, and the chance to pick up some oldies actually sung (not played on the CD)...

Ann said...

It was really GREAT that he could walk you down the aisle....I think as a daughter looking back, that would be the defining moment.

Great that he lived well and died well.

Great that you have so many wonderful memories with him!

Kathie "Moomykin" Yeoh said...

a gift from god,

My family now can talk more about my dad without shedding tears. We remember all the good times and hard times, and we also think of what he would have enjoyed if he was here today.



Yes, my dad has amazing will power. He was smoking from his late teens and then one day in his early 40s decided he would stop and he did. I know that's not an easy thing to do but he did it and never went back to a single cigarette.

Kathie "Moomykin" Yeoh said...


Yes, I know these are stories of our past that would enrich our children, our future. that's why I thought it was worth a post. If I were to publish a book on his life, it'll be for sentimental reasons.

We always loved the guitar playing, and once I wanted to learn to play too. He saw me picking up his guitar, but strangely offered no encouragements but told me it's really a waste of time. It was not his words but my lack of perseverance that I did not continue. It's really painful (to the fingers and the ears) when you start to play.



I am so so glad he got to walk me down the aisle. I actually told Mike that if he was not around for that I might have decided not to have a church wedding after all... Drastic action, I know, but there's just no one else fit for that honour.

Our Jouneys.... said...

I enjoyed his presence the few times I went out with you and when he was with us...he's a nice man...

Kathie "Moomykin" Yeoh said...

our journeys...,

Thanks. Many of our friends did. He was always kind and generous towards my friends.

He himself had many friends while in school and he was the one who inspired us with his stories to be involved in school activities to make our schooling days exciting and not just be bogged by studies.

But it was also he who gave the "grave" truth about friends: As you grow older you will have less friends, but you really only need a few good friends.

RayChung22 said...

Thank you for sharing. I resonate with the other readers, "Very very touching."

Kathie "Moomykin" Yeoh said...


Thank you. Chel was with me that father's day when I missed him the most...and with tears I just had to say a few things to her about a father:
We can't choose our fathers. But that's the only one we'll ever have.