Thursday, February 5, 2009

Memories of my grandmother - Philomena Shak

Celebrating my grandmother 73rd birthday. 

The name Philomena is greek origin which means Philos "friend" and Menos "strength". It really reflect my late grandmother who has a very strong character.

I enjoy talking to the elderly because there are so much to learn from them. Their life are colourful whether they realise it or not. It is especially interesting to learn about their life's struggle and what they did to make it through. This are valuable lessons about the values and  attitude required to overcome the challenges at hand. 

I have one regret in life and that is I did not sit down more often with my late grandmother to hear her story. Based on the stories I remembered was how she got up at 4 am every  morning and would tap rubber to support the family. I can still recall her story how she hid from the Japanese who was occupying Malaysia during the world war two, back in 1946. Then she was a single mother with 7 children to care for. My grandfather died from an unknown  illness . Then there were no proper medical facilities and he died when my dad was a few months old.  I was in my teenage years when she passed away in 1984. I sadly recall how I sometimes misunderstood her as she was a very strict but caring person on the inside. However many times she express it in a manner a teenager may not understand. Though she was not an  expressive person in showing her affection. I realise much later that discipline and hardwork put food on the table. It was important then to equip the child with the necessarily skill to survive. Of course times have change, now you may be accuse of child abuse if you are physically strict with your children LOL.

I guess that is the reason why I can socialise well with elderly people because I wanted to make up for the times I missed with my grandparents. Many successful people today owe their success to their parents who brought them up with discipline and firmness. I think it is very important in raising our children we need to be firm but at the same time they need to know that you love them very much.

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