Friday, February 01, 2013

Towering sweetness

I think I was in my mid teens when he married my cousin. He was a quiet man who towered over all of us. Given we were all taller than the average Malaysian, he really stood out. He seemed shy but then we soon learnt he was one of the sweetest person around, as sweet as the cakes he baked. He was after all a pastry chef at a 5 star hotel.

My father and him got along very well – everytime they met, they’d be chatting away. The funny thing is he looked like a younger version of my dad. Dad always wanted to have his cakes at one of our weddings, I don’t know why he always talked about it. I think he was just extremely taken by him.

He was like a son to his in laws family. He was such a calm soul. For me he was always anne, I never called anyone mama, it was always anne and this was one anne I was very fond of. I remember the day he bought his car from dad. Like many others there was a sense of excitement as he sat in our house hall as dad explained the details and got the forms filled.

We weren’t the cousins that hanged out more of the ones who bonded over coffee and snacks at the family function. He was there when dad passed away.

The last conversation I remember having with him was during my brothers wedding when he confronted me on not getting married. I joked that hey I shouldn’t have to join the suffering just coz they were all in it. He laughed and said hehe true – take your time then. I last saw him mid of last year when I said bye as I was leaving a wedding.

It took me a few minutes to register in disbelief who had died when I got the call this afternoon, an hour before his funeral. When it finally sank in, I packed up and ran and drove to reach in time for his final rites. He looked as calm as ever as his boys towered over him taking after their father in height.

For the first time ever I regretted not being married. I had lost another person who was waiting to see me get married. The number of times I’ve heard him and many others talk about my wedding you’d think I was someone important but I think it is just a matter of fondness.

The irony of life is that car he was so excited to buy was his final resting place. An accident that he couldn't have avoided or could any of us imagine. this is the second time I read about a tragic accident and didn’t realise the person involved was someone I knew. I had just seen the photo of the car this morning and shivered in disbelief at the condition of the car. the story of that accident had been lingering all over fb and twitter as the highway jammed up for hours as rescue teams tried to get them out. Imagine finding out hours later that was someone you knew.

There was a kid looking lost at his house after the funeral. He was in tears as he asked me what he should do for the family. The kid was one of his apprentices. The kid was lost for words all he could tell me was I rushed from Seremban, is there something I can help or do. I guess he was much loved by his students too. I told the kid, him being there was more than enough. Have a seat first but he couldn’t sit. He walked around the house aimlessly trying to find something to do. This was a side of my anne that I would never know. The kids that he inspired.  Alas the sweet ones are always the ones to go first.

Goodbye anne – it was a privilege to know someone as sweet as you for the last 15 years of more.

life is too short - live everyday like its your last

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