My granddad was a great man and he was loved by all who knew him. He touched the hearts of everyone he came across because he had a big, kind heart, an extremely generous nature and the best sense of humour.
He was a simple man who took pleasure in his family, friends and neighbours. He once served his country in the Hong Kong army. He didn’t achieve great wealth, material possession nor status, but he was a great man, simply because he treated everyone with respect and love, and he would have given his last penny and last ounce of strength to help someone in need.
Once, during the Battle of Hong Kong with Japan, despite having no energy left from having nothing to eat, he rescued a woman who had been beaten within an inch of her life and left in a ditch to die. If he had been caught helping her, he would have faced the same fate. She survived.
My best memory of him is riding high on his shoulders through the park where we would walk everyday. He could never pronounce my English name perfectly, and as a result, I had a pet name that only he called me. He was a keen gardener and loved all of nature’s offerings. When we went to stay with him, he would cook our favourites every night – he was the best cook. He would scare me and my sister with his false teeth, then laugh and laugh at us. He was quite deaf and needed a hearing aid, but rarely switched it on. This meant that he would often mis-hear what we said, with hilarious results. He was a silly, lovable man.
He helped and touched a great many people in his lifetime. You would have been blessed to know him.
He died in March 1998, and has been missed a great deal since. But on Saturday night, he came to visit me in a dream. I have dreamt about him before, but this felt different. The few seconds he was in my dream felt so real. He looked just as he had been when he was younger. He told me that I needed to look after and watch out for my grandma. My grandma is now almost completely blind, getting more and more cantankerous and hasn’t been well lately. I was crying in my sleep because I had missed him so much.
I’d like to believe it was real, but I know it was only a dream and not a divine channelling of instruction. But that hasn’t stopped me from trying to figure out what the dream meant. My gran is in Hong Kong, and I am here. Some of my aunties and uncles want to put her in a nursing home now that she needs 24-hour, around-the-clock care, but I know she doesn’t want to go. How can I protest against her 7 children, at least 5 of whom want to put her in a home? It’s not as if I can put up the money to continue paying for a live-in carer. It’s such a sad situation – it seems that either way, no one can win. My gran doesn’t want to come and live here with her children and grandchildren because she likes her home in Hong Kong, but a live-in carer is no longer sufficient for her level of disability. It’s terrible watching loved ones get old.What can I do to fulfil my granddad's wishes?