Have you ever miss a person, who is so dear and important to you, so much? And this person is so much more important than anyone else?
I miss my grandmother’s cooking a lot. Back in the old days, my grandmother was a very good cook. I will never forget her famous dish in our family, Hakka Suan Pan Zhi (Yam abacus seeds). It is not a dish of seeds. It is a very delicious tradition dish.
I remember my cousins, my brothers and I will help out to make the yam dough. My grandmother taught us how to use the yam dough to make into small abacus shape-like dough. Then after which, she would cook it with sliced mushrooms and small shrimps. That was the best dish I ever had in my life. But, after many years, her skill went down. Probably due to her health. Still I love the dish.
There’s another food I remembered that she made it for breakfast. It is called the cereal porridge. This cereal porridge, added with eggs, was me and my brother’s favorite. I don’t think I can make the same standard as my grandmother did even though it is easy to make.
After her health went down, she had been through hospitals many times. It is always so heart aching to see her went in and out of hospitals. She could barely walk around. At home, my mother would bathe her, not like she used to bathe on her own. She didn’t eat much. Her appetite went down also. Just a small portion of meal was enough for her. She could not chew large chunk of meat because most of her teeth had dropped off. There are few days, she would want to go downstairs to the old folks corner and my mother would bring her down with her seating on wheelchair.
This year June, my grandmother was hospitalised. She was complaining about her back pain so we sent her to hospital. She was diagnosed that her bone was crooked or fractured. After couple of weeks, she was out of the hospital. But since then, she couldn’t walk anymore. It was very difficult. Because most of us had to go to work, my mother was the only at home to take care of her during weekdays. On weekends, I would try my best to help out. My two younger brothers wouldn’t even help out a single bit. I’m quite mad about this but I had to keep my cool and not let my grandmother be sad. My grandmother had tons of medicines to take, ranging from large ones to small ones, painkiller to very strong painkiller.
Another couple of weeks passed. I was working late night and my brother called me that they had to send my grandmother to hospital as she was complaining about her leg pain. After I heard that, I rushed straight to the hospital. The hospital was full packed with many patients and my grandmother was lying on the bed, waiting at the holding area to be diagnose. She stayed there for one night and we went home.
The next day early morning, I was preparing to go to work and suddenly my father called and told me something bad happened to my grandmother that I had to rush down to the hospital. Without any choice, I asked for urgent leave and rushed to hospital with my mother. When my father and I were in the holding area, a doctor came to us and told us a very bad news. The doctor had to ask for a specialist head of doctors to examine my grandmother. That was the first time I saw so many doctors who came along with that specialist head to examine my grandmother. After examined, the specialist head told us that my grandmother’s right leg was dead and had to amputate it before getting any worse. When I heard what he said, I almost burst out crying. The doctor wanted us to make a decision whether to amputate my grandmother’s leg. The doctor and us told my grandmother about her leg problem and asking her if she wanted to amputate her leg. Like many old people, she did not want lose her leg even though would cost her life.
Most of our family went down to hospital. Discussing whether to amputate her leg. In the end, we decided to follow my grandmother’s decision that not to amputate her leg. All of us were in the hospital from day till night. Because of this, I decided to take leaves to visit my grandmother, taking care of her in the hospital. My cousin also helped out. I don’t care about work at all. Almost every single day, me and my cousin would stay at hospital from day till night. My family was there too. It was really heart breaking and heart aching for us at that time. My grandmother had to take in controlled drug for killing pain as she would always complain about her leg pain and each day her leg was rotting.
My grandmother stayed at hospital for about 2 to 3 weeks and she had to transfer to another hospital which is for old people. That hospital is not for doing any curing to old patients but as a comfort place to stay at. Over there, we still visited her every single day. I was at there every single day without fail. She stayed at there for another 2 to 3 weeks then one day she had to move to a single patient room. She was having difficulty breathing. My cousin and I had stayed overnight to be with her. Some of my family members also stayed there too. She couldn’t do anything at all. Couldn’t eat, couldn’t drink, couldn’t move, just lying on the bed breathing hardly.
Then on July 11th 2013, I had a call from my Aunt that my grandmother had passed away. I was totally shocked. I quickly told my employer and quickly made my way down to the hospital. When I reached, I saw her white paled face and at that point I was convinced that she had left the world. Soon after, we had the funeral.
I guess that marks the end of my story of my grandmother. She always has been my motivation to keep going. But now that she has gone, I don’t have much motivation to keep moving. Have been trying hard though. She’s also the one who inspired me to wanting to be a boss myself, having my own business.
Nei Nei, I really miss you a lot. I will always love you. You are my best Nei Nei that I ever have.