In Memory of Uncle Lim
Uncle and Aunty Lim took care of/babysitted me and my brother since I was… a baby. Then we stopped going to their place. Some years later, we went back to them, after school everyday, they provided good food for us (aunty is a good cook), and took good care of us, until our parents came and picked us up after work.
I have been under their care for years, and I keep fond memories of the things we did and experienced while under their care. I remember Uncle as a handy-man, (he repaired aeroplanes, Imagine how skilled he was!), he drove his two cars, one red, one silver, maintained them at tip-top performance all the time, waxed them regularly, did customised modifications on them by himself, he fixed whatever was broken in their house, all the drilling, nailing, cutting, woodwork, shelves, nuts and bolts, electrical wiring, pipes, you name it! And he even fixed an entire karaoke system for aunty. He played the games, Bejeweled and Zuma on Yahoo and was quite good at it (imagine that was 10 years ago).
Sometimes we also get uncle to fix some things back in our home (I would feel embarassed/paiseh to trouble him) We used to follow uncle and aunty to the senior citizens’ community centre nearby. I remember him playing ping pong with me, and badminton too, it was not as easy for him as he couldn’t bend one side of his leg which has straight metal bars inside. He brought us to the supermarket sometimes.
He made a little “low table” for us so it’s easier for us to eat and write if we were sitting on the floor. At one time, he saw that schoolbag looked to heavy for a young primary school kid like I was, he took my bag and weighed it on a weighing scale! How cute, now that I think of it. He had a chinese dictionary at home, sometimes we look up some hard chinese words from my school work, sometimes he told chinese history and stories of famous chinese characters. We would study chinese with aunty too. He was the first who taught me how to play chess!!! And I learned and grew to enjoy the art of chess. Without him, I would not know a single thing about chess today.
Whenever aunty and uncle go back to Penang, they will surely buy “pong pneah” and bring them over to our house, it is a kind of Penang biscuit which is my favourite.
I remember at one time, when I stopped going to their place, and needed transport back home from school, he willingly agreed to pick me and my friend up and send us back to my friend’s house everyday, until we sorted out our proper transport home.
Uncle loves Nescafe and biscuits, the squarish ones especially. I can still remember the aroma, especially when it’s tea-time. And everyday, Aunty would prepare the meals, and we all would sit together for lunch.
Gone too soon.
Not too long ago, while I’m far away from home, I received shocking news that uncle was diagnosed with 4th stage lung cancer. He was a smoker. And just a few hours ago, mum told me he had passed on.
Being a Christian child, all these years that I was under their care, I never shared about Jesus with them. The last time I saw uncle, was right after Chinese New Year and before I flew. I never thought… that that was the last time we saw each other. I was hoping to visit him soon, and share with him, but, it is too late. God, … Dear God… You could have placed me in their home for a reason, and that reason, I took it lightly. Looking at the way things have taken place, I have no words to defend myself with… Lord, I am sorry