As I shared a few days back, granny was called home to the Lord a few days back. God had been kind to her by granting her wish to see her great grand child. God arranged for all her grand children to spend time with her just before the Lord brings her home.

Though it is our wish to have her by our side, but God knows that she would be better off in his bosom. God already dropped my family the hint when he allowed her great grand son to come prematurely to fulfil her request.

Even though we are sad that she is no longer with us, and we can no longer talk to her or lay down near granny to be pampered by her. We know that soon we will all gather beyond the river. For we will all meet before the Lord.

During the funeral, we shared the testimony of how God granted her request not to take her home at December 2015 . God granted her 8 more months on earth. Even though granny did not share with us  her requests to the Lord. But  we are sure that one of it concern her great grandchild. For he was conceived during December and  God allowed the boy to come early in order for her to see him.

At the cremation ceremony, I missed the chance to deliver an Eulogy for her. So please allow me to deliver my Eulogy here.  I wanted to write this down so that one day her great grandson will read of his great grandmother. I wanted to preserve all my memories of her while they are still fresh in my mind.

Introduction

Firstly on behalf of of my family, I would like to thank the Church for arranging the funeral and for all my relatives, friends, brothers and sisters for attending the funeral.

Secondly I would like to thank the brother or sister who took the picture on Senior members day 2013, the moment when my brother and I saw the picture of granny smiling while receiving her brooch of flowers, we know that it would be the picture we would want to use for her funeral. Little did he/she know that his/her simple service to the Lord had such a great impact on our family.

When I was a kid, mother made me sleep beside granny and sometimes I would snuggle beside her and she would tell me her story. While everyone ask me how granny died. I would rather be talking about how she lived. And that would be what I would like to share with each and everyone of us seated here in this crematorium.

Granny Early Life

My granny was an adopted child. She came to Singapore from China at the age of 5. We have no idea who our great grand parents are. When Granny visited her home town in China, they were unable to identify our great grandparent. The only thing we know is that everyone in her village bear the same surname. Therefore granny decided to use Chua as her surname.

Granny grew up as a child in Singapore in the late 1920s and she lived her life by the banks of the Singapore river. As a girl from that era, she did not go through school but she taught herself to read on her own. She had also keen interest in watching Teochew Opera. Whenever she is sad and unhappy. She will choose to watch Teochew Opera and movies to lighten her mood.

I remember as a kid, I saw many Chinese story books that she kept in her cupboard, she would often read the books and later on I understood that the books were actually stories and synopsis of Teochew Opera.

Granny’s Favourite Opera Story

One of the Teochew opera stories that left a great impression to me is entitled “柴房会”(translated “The meeting in the firewood room”) .  In that play, there was an honest and good man known as “Lee the third” (李老三). In the opera he was a very comical character and it often attract the attention of my elder brother.

In that play,  李老三 (Lee) encountered a lady ghost while staying in a firewood room. The lady is known as 莫二娘 (Second lady Mo). She had a very sad life, Lady Mo was a decent lady, from a good family but she was deceived and  abducted from home. She ended up making a living as a courtesan. Eventually she fell in love with a businessman from Yang Zhou known as 阳春 (Yang chun) but that man cheated her of her life savings and left her stranded in the inn. She later died and her spirit haunted the firewood room in the inn.

In the story she saw that Lee is a good and honest man, therefore she wanted Lee to help her travel to Yang Zhou to seek vengeance against Yang Chun.  Granny told me that Lady Mo had to hide in an Umbrella (as Chinese believed that spirits are unable to withstand sunlight).  That is why when Lee took Lady Mo on the journey, Lady Mo must reside in an unopened umbrella, it is to prevent the sun from hurting her.

My brother is captivated by the story as the opera performer who played the role of Lee was very comical and he performed many acrobatic stunts on a ladder to demonstrate the shock Lee had when he first encountered the spirit of Lady Mo in the firewood room.

Grandmother had a collection of Teochew Opera cassettes which she liked to listen to. One of her favourite Opera singer is known as Tan Chor Hui (陈楚惠). She was a famous Teochew Opera singer from Hong Kong, she passed away in 2012.

For those who were wondering how “柴房会” is like. My Brother managed to find a clip of it on youtube. Sadly, it only had Chinese subtitles.

Granny As A Young Woman

Granny was a curious young lady. Whenever granny’s adoptive mother sent her on errand , she like to take a look at the busting city around her and she would be scolded for coming home late. I understand that Granny will also take the chance to look at Chinese characters on the street. She would copy them and bring them to a lady living nearby and she will teach granny how to read it.
When she was young she worked in a Joss paper factory. She would be in charge of pasting gold foils on joss paper

She married my grandfather  before the second world war, and she gave birth to my father shortly after the war. At the time of my fathers birth, there was still a lot of administrative problems within the government.Therefore Dads birth certificate bears the name that Japanese gave to Singapore during the second world war. Which is Syonanto 昭南島 Shōnantō which is translated “the light of the south”.

Granny went on to have my aunt, and she had a difficult life bringing up my father and aunt. She loved both my father and my aunt dearly. At one point of her time, she was offered a job as a laundry woman in the house of a wealthy British family. Her employer gave her the condition forbidding her to bring her children to the work place. So she rejected the job so that she could be with her children.

She made a living as a laundry woman and she singlehandedly raise up my father and aunt. She loved them both very much. She often reminded me that I would have to take care of my father and aunt on her behalf when she dies.

Granny had a God-Daughter whom she loved very much as well. She would often talk about her. She loved her children as well as her god daughter.

Granny continued to stay in a shop house by the banks of Singapore River. My dad and aunt grew up beside the Singapore River

Granny Life In The 70s and 80s

Later on Granny moved to Redhill and lived in a two roomed HDB flat (they are small apartments built by the Singapore Government). Life was still tough for granny as my father was working as a bus conductor (a bus ticket seller) . Our house is small and cramp. Eventually my elder brother was born in Red Hill.

Later on my father managed to get a taxi drivers licence, and our life slightly improved. So eventually my family moved to Clementi New Town. We lived in a 3-room apartment and I was born in 1981. We lived together as a family. Even though life was tough, we managed to get by.

Granny had a few favourite foods, she like eating fish especially during new year and she love making Soon Kueh, it is a Teochew snack that looked like a dumpling. It is  filled with a fragrant mixture of shredded bamboo shoots, turnip and dried shrimps wrapped in a smooth rice-tapioca flour skin.”

During the dragon boat festival, she would make traditional dumplings with her own special additions. We missed her dumplings, she was unable to make them when she was old. In the past she would often distribute them to her beloved children.

The Happier Times With Granny

Since childhood till the 80s, granny did not smile much for life is tough. But the change in granny happened when she found the Lord. When God brought my mother back to church, she took  my brother and me to church for the first time. We were baptised into the Lord on 1st April 1990 (yes, it was April fools day )

Granny witnessed for herself how the Lord took care of my elder brother and me. She believed that the Lord is a God who answers prayers and takes care of his children. Her faith in the Lord grew over the years and she was eventually converted to Christianity, she was baptised in 1991.

From then on she started to smile more often, she had started her walk with God. Even though she did not understand theology and the bible well, she would often pray to God and make offering to church on behalf of both my father and aunt.

Once we asked her why she did it and she explained that even though my dad and aunt do not believe in the Lord, she wanted the Lord to watch over them and protect them. She believed that by making offerings on behalf of her children, she could ask the Lord to protect them. She did it out of the love for her children.

Later on my father was converted to Christianity, but Granny continued to make offering for her children voluntarily.

The Love Of Granny

Granny loved all her three grand children. They are my elder brother. my little cousin and me. She took care of us when we are babies and she would always pat us to sleep. whenever she patted us she would sing us children songs in Teochew.  Many of these songs are arched into my memory.

Later on  I have to leave my home country to make a living outside. Granny would often pray for me, she believed that God would protect me, whenever I have the chance to call home, she would often ask about my life. Even though her questions were often repeated, I would answer her the same answer again and again. For I know it was her love for me.

Even at her death bed, she continued to show her love for her grandchildren. She would comfort my elder brother and reminded him to tell her his problem She is also worried that my little cousin would go hungry and she wanted to ask someone to make milo for her .

She continued to show her love for us  no matter how terrible she felt. Even when she was in pain and distress she continued to show her love for us.

She is also well liked by the neighbours. At the last part of her life, She likes to seat with a group of elderly at ground floor of my apartment. Many of the neighbour treated her like their big sister and they also came to offer their respects at her funeral.

Granny is often remembered in church as a quiet lady who always smile brightly, that is why we are able to take a picture of her smiling on senior members day 2013.  She is also remembered for always coming forward to the pulpit pray.

Granny’s Favourite Hymn

Before I end my Eulogy, I would like to share her favourite hymn. It is “Walking On The Kings Highway. It was written by F Horton. But I have shorten the hymn into the way she would have sang it.

Here are the Lyrics

Title : Walking On The Kings Highway
Lyrics : F Horton

We shall see the desert as the rose,
Walking in the King’s highway;
There’ll be singing where salvation goes,
Walking in the King’s highway.

Refrain
There’s a highway there and a way,
Where sorrow shall flee away;
And the light shines bright as the day,
Walking in the King’s highway.

There the rain shall come upon the ground,
Walking in the King’s highway;
And the springs of water will be found,
Walking in the King’s highway.
Refrain

There no ravenous beast shall make afraid,
Walking in the King’s highway;
For the purified the way was made,
Walking in the King’s highway.
Refrain

Goodbye Granny, I miss you forever. May we meet at the feet of Jesus one day. Until we meet again then you would always be living in my heart and mind. I love you and miss you. Goodbye granny.

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