During the last few weeks of care for my beloved father, I saw him had couple drops of tears rolled down his eyes a few times. Each drop of those tears was love that flew from his heart. I will never forget those moments that we shared with his hands holding mine’s.
Papa, you had devoted your whole life to the family, to us. All your leisure time had spent on our study before we left for Canada. Looking back, you enjoyed very much of tutoring us nightly, ensuring we were all prepared before our tests or examinations. Study took away lot of our time, but you did find time to take us to picnics, beaches and reservoir where you taught me how to swim. All these are fond and affectionate memories forever.
We were lucky that you migrated to Canada in 1980, so that we reconnected after away from each other for almost 10 years. We were able to celebrate our birthdays together since then until you turned 100. My children could visit grandpa at any time to receive your care and love. I know the last 2 months were hard for you for not able to express your feelings in words, but you still recognized me; called my Chinese name “Heung Yim” that is the most joyful moment of that period. My beloved father, I miss you forever. RIP
I was fortunate to have lived with Grandfather (Kung Kung) as a young boy. He was instrumental in keeping a watchful eye and caring for me. He certainly taught me many basic necessities I would today casually presume as automatic. Although I fail to grasp a distinct memory today of those many learning moments of what might be considered trivial, I’m grateful Kung Kung sacrificed his time and was patient with me as an energetic child. What I remember most is between the ages 3 to 4, when he would walk me to the park and playground everyday, to the local mall, and there have a “rock” and “ride” on the mechanical horse. All of it was so much fun…other than the slight disappointment and frustration about the horse. At the time I didn’t understand why I had to ride the horse in a stuttering way but in retrospect it was a gift because the humour lives on with more vigour than any electrically powered mechanical horse.
I remember Kung Kung to be a caring and gentle man. He would rock me on his knee and also gently to bed. If I’m not mistaken he would also sing while getting my energetic self to sleep.
Speaking of rocking, my brother Jeremy and I have had a great relationship our entire lives. Well, except perhaps in the beginning when it was rather rocky. These moments were so long ago I barely remember them. Nevertheless, I was temperamental and complained about Jeremy frequently when I was 3. Kung Kung helped keep the peace and it shouldn’t be assumed my brotherly relationship would be as good as it is without grandpa’s interventions.
In reflection, I just remembered another flashback. Within that local mall used to be a Woolco Department store. Kung Kung would take me to the aquarium area there to observe the fish and other aquatic life. It was a miraculous source of fascination and time would stand still.
Alas, I could not remain a boy forever and as I grew times like these became fewer and less frequent. Time walked and then time ran. I won’t forget his loving hospitality however; whenever visiting him, without asking he would make just for me, a creation of a moment, a delicious hot cup of Hong Kong Style Tea.
'He took a little child whom he placed among them.
Taking the child in his arms, he said to them,
"Whoever welcomes one of these little children in my name
welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me does not welcome me but
the one the one that sent me.' "
-The gospel of Mark, Chapter 9, verse 36-37
Jesus was saying that service to little children is a service to our heavenly father. No matter your religious beliefs, would you not agree that this trying and down-right messy work of children is among the greatest service you can offer in your life?
Hello everyone, my name is Jeremy Tio and I am the eldest grandchild of Fung Kwok Hay. As his eldest grandchild, I had the privilege of knowing and remembering the tender service of my grandfather. I am hoping that after reading this, you will have a glimpse into a rarely seen side of our late Gung Gung.
42 years ago, Gung Gung moved into tiny bungalow with my family and took
care of me and my baby brother, Godfrey. Every afternoon, after I returned from school, he would walk us to Agincourt Mall, sit Godfrey on those mechanical horsey rides and would manually rock Godfrey for 10 minutes until Godfrey was happy ...and GungGung was tired. Then, we would walk to the park where Godfrey would inevitably have to leave a "steam warm stinky landmine" that would make all
of the dogs in the neighborhood blush. GungGung would always gently hold Godfrey in the squatting position and have toilet paper in his pocket to wipe him every afternoon. Then, after making us dinner, he would pat Godfrey's bottom until he was ready to sleep while singing his unforgettable lullaby: "Good boy Jie, Jie, Gao Gao Ju Ju la!" ( Good boy , go to sleep now)
If you think Godfrey was a handful, I cost poor Gung Gung more. One Saturday, my neighbour came over to play in the basement and left scissors on the floor. Carelessly, I stepped on the blade and cut my toe open. While I cried in shock, poor GungGung heard my panic and rushed to the basement.. but not before running into a shelf and smashing his face. Indeed, I caused GungGung to lose his first adult tooth!
I am certain as a parent, a grandparent and a great grandparent there
are many other stories of GungGung's sacrifice. In his life, there were moments of humanity where he cared for the little children under his care; he was in service of us and in service of love. We all know that in humility, we were once helpless children, and we will be helpless during our last breath. In that state, we can only hope that whatever spirit of love that exists in the universe would comfort us with the gentle
lullaby: "Good boy or good girl, go to sleep now." Despite all of our short comings, we can take comfort in the legacy of tender service rendered from generation to generation through our very own Fung Kwok Hay.