It's been a rough couple of days since the passing of my grandmother. The sudden news came to me last Tuesday and I felt like a part of me is gone.
Since growing up, there's always been the constant 'two old ladies'. They are my grandmother and grandaunt aka 'Mama' and 'Lau Ee'. I saw them a few times a week when my sister and I were younger due to Chinese tuition and also to hang out with them. Lau Ee would drive us in her green Volkswagen vehicle to and fro Mama's house. From secondary school days to the days before I left for Australia, we saw them once a week.
The two old ladies became one old lady when Lau Ee passed on in 2010. She had gone through a lot before but her body could not hold up any longer. Both Lau Ee and Mama had lived together for years. After her sister passed, Mama was living alone and her health started to decline.
People would think that I would draw a picture of Mama as a tribute to her. She wouldn't like it if I drew her. She was critical of her appearance and even said that she looked like a witch when we took a photo together. The first and last painting I did of Lau Ee, Mama and Gua Ma (my other sweet granny) was harshly criticized by Mama. She said I painted her with cancer. This was back in 2008 when I was trying out painting after learning for a year or so. I wouldn't want her to come down and give me a lecture.
It's been emotionally draining for me and my family were relieved I didn't go back to the funeral (I had to fulfilled my deadlines). I already knew she looked different and they all thought it was best that I remembered her when she was smiling and healthy. I may not have the two old ladies back home but I have the two old ladies watching me. They get to see me living my life here in SA.
Mama & Lau Ee, I miss you and love you.
|Riding with Lau Ee|
|Sitting with Mama|
|Mama's old living room|
|Mama's old house|
|Chinese New Year 2006|