grandma turns 87…or not.

August 6, 2009

My weakness really is the elders. I have so much respect for them that I can’t bear to see them begging on the streets or being put in old people’s home, celebrating festivities without their families. I can cry just watching ads about that on TV.

I’m very close to my grandparents. When my dad’s mom passed away, my mom’s mom came to live with us and now, she’s the only grandparent I have who’s still alive.

I just love sitting in her room with her listening to old stories about my parents and my relatives. I learned that my grandfather was a postman, who earned RM18 a month (now equivalent to \’a33 a month). Times were really hard when she was young that the father just married her off at the age of 14 (crazy right?!!!). When my mom came along, my grandparents didn’t have money to school her. For extra money, my grandmother sold lemang by the roadside until she accidentally scorched her eye with the sparks of fire, making her blind in one eye.

Now, things are good for her and she is the most grateful person. Even with luxury at her fingertips, she is so grounded and never ever forgets where she came from.

We’d talk and laugh and soon, I’ll find myself waking up, my arms hugging her tight. When I can’t sleep at night, I’ll take my pillow downstairs to sleep with her. I love to take her out for meals in her wheelchair, but now, she’s getting too tired for all that.

She turns 87 today! Er…we think.

It’s just that in the olden days, they always registered their baby late, so the birthdays are never accurate. According to her, her birthday is today. According to her maid, her birthday is next week. According to her IC, her birthday is 21/8/1912 which would make her 97 today. It hardly seems realistic that her parents registered her birth 10 years prior to her existence.

We were all really confused and nobody was sure if her birthday was today.

But it doesn’t matter. If she thinks it’s her birthday today, then it’s her birthday today!

We had a little surprise for her yesterday. We had cake and balloons and streamers. All her grandchildren and great-grandchildren were present and she was the happiest woman alive.



I am never trusting Baskin Robbins to write on the cake ever again! Look how ugly the font is! You can barely read it


Everything had the number 87 on it. The balloon, the cake.

Then, suddenly one of us pointed out that she was born in the year 1921….

….which would make her….88.