Memory.. Little threads that hold life's patches of meaning together. ~ Mark Twain

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Prayers For Nai Nai

It had been 50 days now since Nai Nai left us to join Yeh Yeh. I had taken a day's leave from work yesterday to join my family and relatives in Dad's hometown to offer prayers for Nai Nai to mark her 49th day after her death.

It was saddening entering the house, knowing that my grandparents would not be there to greet us anymore. They would no longer be sitting on their favourite chairs, waiting for our arrival as they usually did. Plenty of food were set up for Nai Nai. Her slippers, chair, 'tongkat', and a pair of clothes were left undisturbed beside the table since her death.

Grandma's Prayers 1
Food laid down for Nai Nai

We had also earlier on folded more paper money for her.

Grandma's Prayers 2
Huge paper money folded into the shape of a gold

After a short prayer session, offering food and wine, we proceeded to the outside of the house to burn more money and items for her.

Grandma's Prayers 3
Sending more clothes, other items and lots of money through the smoke for Nai Nai's afterlife

Now that my grandparents are no longer around, Dad and his siblings have decided to sell off the house. So we decided to dig out 'lost treasures' tucked away all over the house. There were so many antique collections, letters and photo albums. We decided to keep an old oil lamp I never knew Nai Nai had.

Oil Lamp
Oil lamps that were apparently very 'hot' many decades ago. We took the one on the right, which has a printed picture of a celebrity (or so my relatives said, I don't know who though)

The more I think of us selling off the house, the more I am reluctant of seeing it go to someone else. Ever since my grandparents bought the house more than 40 years ago, they had also bought over 3 other houses on the left and right of theirs. 4 houses side by side, it was like a huge 'kampung' place for us to roam around. Everyone would gather around in my grandparents' place. If all of us were to go back there together, the road in front of the 4 houses would be huge enough to fit all of us into a family photo. Imagine, my grandparents (if they're still alive now), Dad, his 8 other siblings and their spouses, more than 30 of us grandchildren (haven't included the spouses yet), and latest count, more than 20 great grandchildren - We're THAT many! But now that the house will be gone someday, the chain of houses will be broken. *sniff*

We'll no longer go back there and see this...

Grandparents' House
.. The living room where all family gatherings were held in, especially when we celebrated my grandparents' birthdays

Grandparents' Room
.. My grandparents' bedroom at the back of the house

My Family's Room
... The room where my family would sleep in everytime we went back to visit my grandparents - That's like, officially is our bedroom

Grandpa's Chair
... Nor Yeh Yeh sitting on his favourite chair

The Family Roots
... Potraits of my grandparents, and on the right, my great grandmother

It will be awfully sad to see the day when we will finally have to say Goodbye to the house where I've stayed in throughout my 27 years - The house will full of memories of my entire family tree..


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