Not too long ago, I suffered the painful loss of my beloved granddad.
Everything felt like a mess, I was confused if I really lost him. I spent a few days crying, reminiscing the memories we had, and I suddenly realised I have learnt so much from him. Although he is not with us anymore, his legacy continues to live on. I would like to share what I had learnt from him which I think would be relevant to everyone.
Honouring our spouse
My granddad was married to my grandmother for 60 years. I lived with them for the first 6 years of my adolescent life, and I remembered very clearly I had never seen them quarrel. Even as I grew older, I witnessed the love and respect he had for my grandmother.
I had never seen him raise his voice at her, neither had he spoken rudely to her. During weekends, he would follow her to the malls where she shopped. We knew he was a typical man and did not like shopping. However, he did not grumble once and helped her carry her shopping bags after. When he was bored, he would just wait for her outside the mall and chatted with some other old men sitting on the benches (haha bored husbands too).
Whatever she cooked, he appreciated, and again, I had never seen him complain about the food. He did have his likes and dislikes, grandma knew it all and hence the food she cooked would always be what he liked. I believe we have a lot to learn from him about honouring and loving our spouse just as Christ loved the church.
Spending time with loved ones
According to my mum, granddad was a sailor and he would sail for a few months in a year where he could not return home. Back in the days, there was no email or social media, so he had to make long toll calls home, or write letters to communicate with my grandma.
She recalled that whenever he was home, he would take her and my uncle and auntie out for meals, or just simply spent time with them. He later changed his career to be a bus driver, and that was when I was born and had memories of him. I remembered during his off days, he would take me around the neighbourhood, teaching me about animals, food, money and etc.
He would buy me food and my favourite drinks. He would just casually chat with me about everything as I was young and could not understand anything. While he was working, my grandma would take me up the bus when he was on his shift as if he was taking me for a ride. When I was older, he would spend time telling me about his life story and it was definitely fascinating knowing how he lived his life when he was younger.
Loving the family
He loved his children and grandchildren in his own ways. Sometimes he was a bit overprotective, but we knew he just did not want us to get hurt.
Family is a blessing to my granddad. I could only recall one person he fell out with because the person created strife in the family. However, besides that, the relatives I knew had utmost respect for my granddad.
Every year, we gathered during Chinese New Year to catch up over meals. It was precious time for my granddad as I could see him going around chatting with everyone. He made peace and loved to see the harmony among us. We often went out for meals, and even though he did not say much, I could tell that he enjoyed our family time.
Leaving a legacy
When the news about his passing broke out, many relatives attended his wake and were already crying before they arrived. It got me thinking, what legacy do I want to leave behind? What do I want to be remembered for?
Do I want people to cry at my funeral because I had been genuine to them, or do I want no one to turn up? It is definitely a very thought provoking question. The legacy we leave behind depends on how we live our lives today.
Even though going to be with the Lord seems quite far-fetched for some of us, I think it is important to note that when Jesus was on earth for 33 years, He did not waste any minute of His limited time here to invest into all the people He loved. With this, I truly believe that even if we do not spend everyday thinking about the legacy we want to leave behind, we can certainly mimic what Jesus did - Love the people around you.
Amy Ching is a Press Service International young writer from Auckland, New Zealand