Wednesday, February 24, 2010

A man of great wealth

Since my last entry, I've gotten to know a family better - the Yee clan. There is a man whom I've grown fond of in some peculiar ways. Although my encounters with him has always been brief and I can't understand most of the things he said because of our differences in dialects but the heart of a man knows no language barriers.

He is gong gong, Elroi's grandfather. Diagnosed with terminal leukemia a month plus back and he has been in and out of the hospital since then. I was honored enough to have spent two memorable occasions with him when his health did not take a toil on his body. Once, for breakfast and a little nice trip down memory lane to his old house and the other, dinner with Elroi and Ian (his brother). Then after, there were mostly visits at the hospital where he is often surrounded by family members. I guess everyone wants to really spend some precious time with him. I believe the family is prepared for the worst.

Gong gong is a remarkable man. A man who cares for the people around him, what more his family. A man who is always gentle when he talks. A man, whom I found really cute when he smiles. A man who takes time to listen. A man who still wants to be as independent as much as he can even though he has been weakened. I believe being able to do a simple task such as brushing his teeth or wash himself gives him a sense of dignity. He is struck down but definitely, not defeated.

Gong gong has been leaving some words of wisdom for Elroi and other family members. In some ways, I envy this relationship. I wish I had moments like that with my grandparents because I believe those moments can change a person or at least, leaves a really deep impact on the listener. I wish my grandparents cared enough to leave us last words - words of great wealth. Words that will be engraved forever in one's heart. Words that can pull a family together.

Visiting gong gong and observing the symptoms he is displaying reminded me of my uncle, who passed away about 5 months back because of leukemia. Its not easy when I think about it. I would imagined if this was my uncle, talking and giving me his last words, I think I would break down and cry.

Then there will always be the question of salvation for us Christians. At deathbeds, these are even much more difficult to even think about. Questions I will never have answers to. My uncle did not know God. He died. Was it hard? You bet.
Can a mortal ask questions which God finds unanswerable? Quite easily, I should think. All nonsense questions are unanswerable. How many hours are there in a mile? Is yellow square or round? Probably half the questions we ask-half our great theological and metaphysical problems-are like that. - CS. Lewis

Gong gong have lived a life of great wealth because he understood life. And because He understood it, he could leave words of wisdom for his children and grandchildren, who will then be affected to live life with commendable values. This is a man of great wealth I'm looking at. Why? Because only man of great wealth can touch others. The wealth of knowledge and wisdom and of, LIFE. He has loved and lived. He has displayed love so that the generations after him can have a better life. I remember I asked Elroi "So what did Gong Gong say?" on one occasion and he replied "Life was hard then but all he thought of was, his children must have education". I have met many poor families in my work whose parents said the same. But here, right now, in front of my eyes, stood a man who has lived it.

I count it my blessings to have met this man at this point in time. Although brief and often times, observed from a far, it is enough to know his heart. I hope one day, we will meet again.
"The term is over: the holidays have begun. The dream is ended: this is the morning." And as He spoke He no longer looked to them like a lion; but the things that began to happen after that were so great and beautiful that I cannot write them. And for us this is the end of all stories, and we can most truly say they all lived happily ever after. But for them it was only the beginning of the real story. All their life in this world and all their adventures in Narnia had only been the cover and the title page: now at last they were beginning Chapter One of the Great Story which no one on earth has read: which goes on for ever: in which every chapter is better than the one before." -CS Lewis

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