Wednesday, 14 September 2011

A Grandmother And Her Granddaughter

June 1998
My mother will be having her birthday for the twentieth time next year. No she is not twenty years old come February next but will be 80. That comes with being born on 29th February! Krystyn is 24.

Yesterday, Krystyn went out with her grandmother on one of their now regular jaunts to Tesco. They are two generations apart and I would not say they are best of pals in the sense of the word. But they enjoy a very good grandmother-granddaughter relationship that only really blossomed after Jeannie's passing more than 4 years ago. Cantonese speaking Krystyn is also her grandchild who is most Chinese in her ways compared to the rest who are essentially "yellow on the outside, white on the inside" bananas.

June 2011
These days there is even no need for me to be within their communications loop and my mother hardly ever needs to phone me anymore. She is comfortable getting Krystyn to drive her around when she needs to and Krystyn has no qualms doing so. I believe she has come to terms with the fact that Krystyn is already a young woman in her own right. It is through Krystyn and JJ today that my mother can truly appreciate Jeannie's upbringing of her grand children and indeed understand Jeannie better; they are unmistakably Jeannie's children.

Krystyn on the other hand can learn a lot from her Ah Mah especially about household stuff and in filling blanks about things past in this Cheah family. The current main tutorial seems to be in the art of fresh grocery shopping. Just to indicate how proficient my mother is, based on weight estimation alone, Krystyn related how she required and selected 5 kilos of cucumber (to make acar awak for a friend) at Tesco yesterday. She picked the cucumbers into three plastic bags and when Krystyn took them to the weighing counter to pack, one was exactly 2.0 kg, another 1.80 kg and the other 1.20 kg = 5.0 kg! That kind of kung fu is not acquired overnight...just imagine the level of knowledge and proficiency that comes with more than 60 years cooking experience.

Early 1950s?
Life is a cycle and renewal comes with succession. Recently, my mother has been handing to Krystyn custody of some of her simple, yet cherished possessions...old photographs, recipe books, etc. I would rather see this in the good light of acceptance and reconciliation with life.

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