“Why are you staring at those durians?”
“Do you want it?”
“No.. it’s ok, Nina. It’s too expensive..”
“Nothing is too expensive for my grand daughter.”
“No, that’s not the right way to fry a fish!”
“But I like it that way. I want it to be crispy!”
“You’re doing it the wrong way! Those fishes are going to end up on your plate without their skins..”
“I like the fish that way, ok?”
“I’m just teaching you..”
“You shouldn’t play with that dead fish. It used to be your pet!”
“I’m not playing with it. I’m cremating it.”
“Just bury or throw it away!”
“But I wanna cremate it..”
“Jagalah kau, hujan kuat kama kau bikin tu!”
(“Oh just you wait, it’s gonna rain heavily soon because of you!”)
“Nina, that purse is beautiful. Who got it for you?”
“Your cousin, Martina gave it to me. Beautiful, isn’t it?”
“But.. Nina, it was ME who gave it to you..”
“Oh dear, it was you? I’m so sorry.. I couldn’t remember well these days..”
“Nina.. do you miss Moing?”
“Of course I do, dear… he was my husband..”
“I miss him too.. ”
“It’s ok. I will meet him again soon.”
Those were some of the many conversations I had with my late grandmama. A strict, traditional grandmother who would always keep an eye on everything we do. She would complain about the way I cook, the way I prepare my foods, the way I treat my dead pets.. she was always there to correct us.
She was also a very generous grandmama to her grandchildren. I have always been looking forward for her visit as a child, because not only she buys us gifts and toys, she’d give us angpow (money) too. I remember when I was about the age of 5, she gave me and my brother each a RM50 note, to buy candies she said. She was the one who bought me and my brother our first “car” and bicycle.
Oh dear, I don’t think I could continue writing about her today. My eyes are all wet and I’m already crying, just thinking of her. :-(
Nina, my dearest grandmama, I know you’re happily smiling, looking at me from heaven right now. I know that you know how much we miss you and still talk about you dearly. And on this special day, I’d like to take this opportunity to tell you that you were THE BEST grandmama I’ve ever had. Do send my love to Moing and Wendy over there too, will you please? :-)
Happy All Souls Day!
In loving memory of Mdm. Lojihing M.