Saturday, August 18, 2012

In Memory of 'Ee-poh' who passed away peacefully in Penang on 18 August 2012

For our children, the only Grandma they really knew and was close to was their "Ee-Poh", especially for Fei and Su who grew up with her in their early years when my father invited us to live with him for a season right after my serious car accident in the Chinese New Year of 1985. It was to help me in my recuperation and also assistance to Geok Lee, a young Mom who was expecting her second baby Su to be born in Oct the same year.

Chinese New Year in 1986, Mom with Fei and Su in the home of my father

Chak Wai Lin had become the 2nd wife of my father and 'Ee-Poh' to our children, thus she was added to the Family Tree of the Chong family. She being younger, born on 24 Oct 1944 was a help mate and companion to him till he passed away at 88 years of age on 20 Nov 2009. My mother had passed away much earlier on 22 Oct 1982.

Seen walking with my father from his surveyor's private practice office that he still maintained at 85 years of age in the year 2006
She would be the organizer of family gatherings especially for my father's yearly birthday celebrations that are usually attended by his children, grand children and great grand children!

Getting all the immediate family members and their spouses together is never an easy task with many spread out geographically covering Malaysia, Singapore, Australia and the UK. Perhaps the biggest gathering was organizing my father's 80th birthday with some old pics seen here.

Fei and Su as grand children close to their 'Ee-Poh' are of no exception as Fei had been in US and China in her adolescent years while Su was primarily in the US. Fortunately, they did come home on occasions and these precious moments are captured below :

Fei giving a surprise Chinese New Year visit from Beijing in 2009.

Her good timing enabled her not only to see her 'Ee-Poh' but also her grandpa, not knowing that about 9 months later, he would suddenly pass away in November the same year. Fei had later gone to the USA to be married to Christopher Wyatt on 29 May 2010 the following year.

As for Su, she had returned to Singapore from her voluntary mission for the Church in Oakland California and decided to visit 'Ee-Poh' and Grandpa in KL with Mom and I in Aug 2008. After the visit, Su had gone back to Provo Utah in the US to finish her studies at BYU and to be later married to Jay Liu on 18 June 2011

Now Su's latest recent return visit from US in the summer of 2012 with her husband Jay to Singapore and Malaysia was even more timely. From their travel journal beginning from Singapore to JB, Kuantan, KL and finally Penang we see the following pic :

 

Su got to visit her 'Ipor' in Penang, travelling all that distance after arriving in Singapore to find her hospitalized in Penang in July 2012. Her cancer diagnosed in 1990-91 had recurred. Just over a month later, after they had returned back to the US, I received a phone call in Singapore from my oldest Sister's family in Penang saying on the night of 17 August that she was in critical condition. Another phone call came in the next day informing me she had passed away at 6.30am.

The funeral is on Monday 2pm at the Crematorium in Jalan Batu Gantung. Please check the google map here for location. Video clip of the funeral is found below.

Having described Fei and Su growing up in their early years close to 'Ee-Poh', it does not mean the boys did not have much contact with her when we did not live in the same home any more. As we were still living in the same city of Kuala Lumpur, family gatherings on the subsequent birth of each child or for birthday celebrations, festive season celebrations and other family activities kept both the girls and boys closely in touch with their 'Ee-Poh'.
Gathering time during the Chinese New Year where my sister was visiting from the UK too.

Like most families with grand parents still alive, their homes serve as a gathering place for all the posterity. Though she was not the real grand ma of the family, the title of 'Ee-Poh' is a respected title given to a grand-aunt or step-grandmother. She did indeed fill the position as grand mother of the children because their real grand mother in KL had passed away long before they were ever born.

Grandpa and 'Ee-Poh' would even attend some activities of the boys at school...

... including witnessing the baptism of our youngest Ray at Church.

Video clip of the Funeral Ceremony held on Monday 20 Aug 2012

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