Friday, July 10, 2009
In Memory of Low-Yeh
My Low-Yeh (Father-In-Law) passed away a few weeks back. I’m not writing about why and how he died. But I’m writing about what he meant for me as his daughter-in-law. He was a proud grandfather, a wonderful husband, a great father to my husband and his siblings, and most importantly, for me, he was a good father-in-law.
Most of our conversations were cordial, almost rehearsed since it is always as follows.
FIL: “Hi Mely (Mary), how’s your faddah and maddah”
Me: Fine, and they say hello too.
FIL: “They feelin’ ohkay?”
Me: Yes, thank you.
FIL: “What you want to eat?”
Me: Anything Low-Yeh (Father-In-Law) . I’m fine with anything.
FIL: “Mely, you lak fish-ee?” (Do you like fish?)
Me: Yes, Doh Tse (Thank You)
And off he goes to order fish to pick-up for lunch or dinner. He’s a thoughtful man. He is always taking care of others first before himself. I wish he knew how much I appreciate him. I would’ve told him, but I don’t think he would’ve understood what “appreciate” means in English, and I can’t speak Cantonese. So “Doh Tse” (Thank You) was the best I can do
My oldest son (9) took it very hard, and for me this is probably the first time I had someone that close to me that died. Watching the video at his Memorial Service about his life from his teen years, to his marriage up to the time he held each grandchild left us in more tears. My husband couldn’t bear to watch the video; he just kept his eyes closed.
During the Eulogy, my son, the first grandchild of all 7 got up to read a poem. He knew he was speaking for his Yeh-Yeh (Grandpa) and although for days he has been lost for words but just filled with pain, grief, and tears, this time he stood tall and proud. Our hearts burst with pride while he resembles an adult at that very moment. He read it and he read it well. It was a poem about being free. It gave my husband comfort to hear the words of what his father could’ve been saying to us. And so I share that poem with you below. I hope that these words can bring comfort to those who had also lost a loved one.
Low Yeh, you are terribly missed and I pray that you will be always be there to watch over your grandchildren. And as your son always says, see you again later and Doh Tse.
Don’t grieve for me, for now I’m free
I’m following the path God has laid you see.
I took His hand when I heard him call
I turned my back and left it all.
I could not stay another day
To laugh, to love, to work, to play.
Tasks left undone must stay that way
I found that peace at the close of day.
If my parting has left a void
Then fill it with remembered joy.
A friendship shared, a laugh, a kiss
Oh yes, these things I too will miss.
Be not burdened with times of sorrow
I wish you the sunshine of tomorrow.
My life’s been full, I savored much
Good friends, good times, a loved one’s touch.
Perhaps my time seemed all too brief
Don’t lengthen it now with undue grief.
Lift up your hearts and peace to thee
God wanted me now; He set me free.
Sweetened by MJ Tam