I made this last week....it's fried bee hoon with canned stew pork. There are only 3 ingredients in this dish - beehoon, stew pork in a can & beansprouts. It's such a humble dish but it's also one of my MOST FAVORITE food in the world. And it's also the dish that so reminds me of my late grandma. She used to make this (& always accompanied by green bean soup) for lunch sometimes and I remember how I'd gobble up the noodles and then ask for second/third helpings.
Over a skype conversation with my mom earlier this month, I was reminded that it was my grandma's death anniversary. My mom and aunt had gone to the shrine to offer their prayers. Honestly, I can't remember what's the date of my granny's death anniversary and neither can I remember how long ago she had passed on. But I'm not ashamed of that - as I remember her vividly of the times when she was alive.
I remember the time she carried me and ran down from the 12th floor of Eng Cheong towers when my neighbour's apartment was on fire.....the times when we'd pluck beansprouts together.....or waiting for her to buy lunch for me before school (& she always knew exactly what I love to eat i.e. dry fishball noodles with lotsa ketchup, peanut porridge, chicken rice etc).....the wonderful kopi-O that she'd made everyday that she kept in a HUGE flask.....the times when she'd freak out when her huat-kuehs didn't huat.....of how she'd make red eggs for my birthdays.....she used to lock up all her "goodies" in a tiny drawer in the wardrobe and be very secretive when she were to open the drawer.....I can even remember the "squishy" sounds that her rubber slippers made everytime she walked down the corridor! She'd proudly help me pin my PREFECT batch on my school uniform....and everytime there was a party at school, she'd help to pick out a nice cake or some candies to contribute to the party.
And then there was once when I made her teared....I was supposed to be going home for the weekend with my parents....but I told my parents (in front of my granny) that granny would be very lonely if I were to go back home and not stay with her. Somehow, I remember that very vividly even though I must have been very young then. It sounds unbelievable....but I can even remember the times when she rocked me to sleep in the sarong "hammock" when I was still a baby.
There are so many little things that remind me of her. I watched a korean movie a few years back called "The Way Home" and cried buckets 'cos I thought of my granny (she had already died then).
My mom was telling me that maybe they'd choose to be cremated when they've passed on and have their ashes thrown somewhere....into the sea or back into the ground to fertilise the soil. Perhaps she was thinking that it'd be useless to place the ashes in the shrine where nobody would even go to pay their respect. Ultimately, it's their choice really and I'll do whatever I can to fulfil their wishes.....maybe I'm not the sort who'd make prayers and remember death anniversaries....but one thing for sure, I'll always remember everything DEEP IN MY HEART.