Monday, March 1, 2010

My Parents' Homecoming

February 14, 2010 was a memorable day this year as it was a day of double celebrations. Chinese from all over the world celebrated Chinese New Year and couples from all over the world celebrated Valentine's Day.

However, just a few weeks before, in the home of Brother Hong Meng, there seemed to be a double tragedy whereby both his parents were called home to be with the Lord. Friends and relatives gathered to share in the grief of the loss of his parents due to old age. Many felt at loss for words to comfort him but this article which he submitted to The Star brought great relief to his family and friends. After reading the article, we cannot help but to rejoice with Brother Hong Meng to know that his parents had lived a wonderful life here on earth and they have kept their vows to each other and have left behind a great legacy. It is very comforting to know that they are both in the loving arms of God for eternity together.

We have copied the article here for those who missed the article in the Star papers.


Tuesday February 16, 2010

Couple together for eternity

FEB 14 is Valentine’s Day and also Chinese New Year. It would have been my dad’s, Wong Siew Leong, 91st birthday but he passed into glory on Feb 4, 2010. As he chased after my mum for her hand in marriage 64 years ago, he chased after her again into heaven.

My mum, Wong Mei Seong, died on Jan 22, 2010 at the age of 84.

He prayed, indeed pleaded with God, that he not be separated from her for too long and his prayer of love was answered.

They came from different worlds.

He was brought up in wealth in Hong Kong and she the daughter of a poor tin mine worker.

After the family wealth was squandered away by his father and uncles through opium and gambling and his university education cut short by Japan’s invasion of China, my dad came to Malaya at the age of 18 to start work as an office boy in a goldsmith shop.

He was fair and handsome with refined and discerning tastes cultivated from young.

She, nicknamed “hark mao tarn” or dark beauty, was uneducated but taught herself to read and write and soon acquired the best of social graces.

Early married life was a struggle. Although he was progressing well in his career, his salary from the goldsmith shop was not enough to support both his family and his mother in Hong Kong.

She had to wash clothes for others to supplement the family income.

They invested their lives in me and my four younger sisters, providing us with all the opportunities they possibly could.

And all of us made it. We were their only treasures and their legacies.

So when he retired some 22 years ago, we were able to ensure that the latter part of their earthly lives was well provided for; adequately comfortable and pleasant.

He recognised that they both had good lives; well lived.

In a poem he calligraphed on his 76th birthday, he declared he had a most satisfying life.

There was nothing he was in need of and nothing more he could wish for.

In the last line he laughed that as an often bickering couple they bickered till both their hair grew white.

They both became Christians late in life. He, at age 63, obeyed the advice and counsel of his own mother who was 90 at that time.

She, at age 66, after she was afflicted with stage 3A cancer.

He had been in and out of hospital a few times but she had never been hospitalised since the cancer operation.

We had expected him to go first. But life and death is in God’s hand.

When my mum was hospitalised this time my dad told me with some degree of conviction that God was taking her home.

And sure enough, what he knew in his spirit came to pass. At her funeral, he told her to go ahead first. He would follow soon after. And he did, just two weeks later.

On the day of his home coming service it rained from 3.30 till 5 in the evening but by 7 the sky was filled with a beautiful sunset.

At the service itself, two white butterflies were seen flying together among the assembled friends and relatives.

On the day of his burial, a pair of cuckoo birds hatched out on my son’s bedroom window sill. All signs from God to comfort and assure us that indeed they are together in His glorious presence for eternity.

Isn’t this a great Valentine story?

Dr Wong Hong Meng

BEcons(Hons), MBA, DBA, ACIS, FCA, CA(M)

The Star link :

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