Sunday, 3 June 2007


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Still remember Mr. T from my previous post? He is the old man who has taught me a lot on life’s philosophy before he passed away a few years back. I must admit that during certain times when I was studying in a college, there was a lapse in our relationships. It was the time when my future was in the hands of getting myself well armed in education to face the world out there.

College… Girls… Projects… Assignments… Presentations… Examinations… Paper Qualifications… Career and Life itself got into the way. In pursuit of my dreams, on top of being hectic in my life, I practically have no time at all to even to spend some quality time with my own family. I was so naïve in getting myself successful in the society that nothing could stop me. But then, I did pop in Mr. T’s house for a short visit on and off when I have some time in my hands. Each time he would just smile at me and says, “Criz… chase your dreams while you are young. I will understand. Thanks for your time.”

With all the heavy schedules and workloads, I was getting further and further apart from seeing him that frequent. It lasted about a year. One fine morning, I received a call from my Mum. Sounding rather sad and with a heavy voice, my Mum broke the news to me, “Son…Mr. T passed away last night in his sleep. The funeral is tomorrow.” My mind went blank for a split second. Memories of my childhood days with Mr. T flashed nonstop in my head. Tears were running down my cheek as I slumped onto my office chair.

Suddenly, I heard a loud shout over the phone. I had completely forgotten that I was on the line with my Mum. “Oh sorry, Mum. I was just thinking about him just now.” Feeling the guilt of not seeing him for the whole year, I heard my Mum said, “He remembered you dear. Each time when I passed by his house, he would ask me about you. He reminisced about all the good times you spent over at his place.” This made my eyes went spraying with tears. I was touched.

I was wrong in ignoring him for so long to chase my dreams. Mr. T was the other “father” of mine whom has influenced my life. He was the one who taught me how to live life happily. “I’ll be back tonight Mum. Just wait for me.” The whole day, my mood was like a gloomy weather. My mind was not thinking rationally. Those colleagues of mine who pass by dare not even utter a word. I needed a shoulder to cry on and no one was there to comfort me. I was in dilemma for the guilt.

I reached home quite late in the evening. After a quick dinner, we went over to Mr. T’s house. As we reached there, Mr. T’s widow rushed up to me and gave me a tight hug. She said, “Mr. T talked about you all the time.” Tears again almost burst out but I kept my emotion down as it is rude to create a commotion during a person’s bereavement. I went over to Mr. T’s coffin and saw his face for the last time. There he was sleeping with a smile on his face. Small drops of tears dripped out from the corner of my eyes.

Suddenly, my eyes were staring at the empty table which Mr. T and I had spent most of our memorable times together. “The book is gone” I uttered. My Mum asked, “What book?” I replied, “There was this book tied with a red ribbon that Mr. T treasured a lot. I did ask him many times what it was.” He just told me that it was the book that he valued a lot. In my mind, “Now I would never know what is so valuable to him. Someone in the family would have taken it.”

The funeral the next day was a small and uneventful one. Mr. T had no son. He has only a daughter whom he has adopted when she was 7 years old. Most of his friends or relatives had passed away. After the funeral, I went back to Mr. T’s house to say goodbye to his widow before I head back to my office. Mrs. T passed me a parcel with my name written on it. On top of that, there was a letter attached to it. With trembling hands, I opened the letter and read the content. “Upon my death, please pass this parcel to Criz. Signed Mr. T” I burst into tears immediately. Instead of me comforting Mrs. T, she was the one comforting me then. She said, “Mr. T treated you like his own son and he wanted you to have this after he has gone.”

I wanted to open the parcel then but decided to do it back in the privacy of my own room. With my heart beat pounding heavily, I opened the parcel. Inside was the book with the red ribbon still tied beautifully on it. I untied the ribbon and there on the first page was a note. It read, “Criz. Thanks for your time. Mr. T”. I cried furiously again. I was pondering what was so valuable to him and he valued my time. I flipped through the book and saw that it was a diary. A diary about how we met and what are the things we did when we were together. A statement on the last page caught my attention. “….I knew he was busy with his own life now and I forgave him for his actions. Times are running out for me and I hope that the time should be given to someone else he treasures most in his life.”

Immediately, I took out my hand phone and called back my office. “Ms. X. I’m taking the whole week off.” Ms. X asked, “Why?” I answered, “I‘m planning to spend some quality time with my family. Thanks for your time too, Ms. X.”

So, make some time for yourself today to spend more time with your loved ones. Treasure well the time you have with them as you would not know what will happen in the future.

"Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take but by the moments that take our breath away."


It took me quite some time to come out with this post after writing the other post on Mr. T. I was too emotional to continue after writing a short paragraph each time. Finally, I completed writing this post after days of wetting my keyboard. And who says a guy cannot be emotional? I am not ashamed to admit that.


kuanhoong said...

It is good to remember the people that love us and people that we care about. There is no shame for that.

papajoneh said...

Criz, i feel for you. I mean, i can't even comment anything good here. You made me in tears Criz. My son is looking at me now with the blur look. "Papa, what happened?". This is the most touching post I ever read. That leave you took, make sure you use it wisely. Nothing like spending good valuable time with the family. Don't wait until it's too late. May Mr. T soul rest in Peace. Amen. You be good now and be even stronger from now on.

kayatan said...

No, guys can show their emotion !
My husband is more emotion than me lah !

I am very touched by what u wrote.

Wow, how come we think so alike eh ? thousand miles away and we both write something similar abt memory ?

Have to buy you a drink when I visit Penang !

CRIZ LAI said...

kuanhoong: **nod nod**

papajoneh: I forced myself to face my worst fear to write this post. It's the fear of guilt. It has been in me for ages and it's time for me to overcome it. Life has got to go on. Clinging on to that fear will make my life more miserable. Anyway, I'm glad that I finally complete my post. **sob**

kayatan: we think alike in many ways. It's life. How we are to live a better life and try to make it even better. Even though I have the diary safely kept in my drawer, I could never have the courage to open it again. As you put it, a living person touches us more than a dead object. It's too late to even thing about the past. It's better to move forward and set our lives straight to avoid making the same mistake. Life must go on. TIME does not wait for anybody. :)

Nastasshea@Nesh said...

Real men do cry. That is what i trully believe in life. Wow i'm impressed that you are willing to share this experience with us even if it gives you a hard time. In every person's life there is one whom we treasure most and when death comes only we realise how stupid our actions were.

Hey i'm not saying you're stupid okay! Just sharing part of what I went through as well and well... i felt stupid for not spending time with that person.

This will be a good lesson for everyone who reads it! "TIME WILL LET YOU LOVE AGAIN" Anytime someone will go away and that someone might be the closest one you have.

Thanks a lot for this post! I personally appreciate your effort in posting this up.



JennyHow said...

Hi Criz, sorry to hear about Mr. T. I guess we all have been in your shoe at one time or another. We all think only about chasing our dreams & making money, and forget about people around us. Until 'that' thing happen, then we only realised it is too late and start to ponder what is the most important thing in life.

piggy said...

Another touching post. Bravo on that. I'm glad you're able to get over your guilt to share this story with us. And I agree that we should always make time for our love ones no matter how busy we are.

CRIZ LAI said...

nastasshea: Thanks...still having a slight hangover on the emotional post. I assure you I will come out with more good posts :)

jennyhow: glad you realized that money isn't everything. Certain people in our lives once gone, they are irreplaceable with whatever money we have.

piggy: It's not I'm arrogant but guilty or not guilty, life has to move on for the better. So you also take care of yourself while you are still there. Have the courage to move on to a new place for your own progress. Gook Luck!

babyfiona said...

Just wanted to give u a BIG HUGZZ!

pikey said...

thanks for such an inspirational post... and guyz certainly can show emotion... just do the things wad you feel is right..

conan_cat said...


and i guess that's all i need to do.

you must've figured out everything by now, nay? :)

smile a bit, and he's smiling down at you from heaven too.

drop a tear, and it will rain.

CRIZ LAI said...

babyfiona: thanks for the hugzzz

pikey: I guessed so

conan cat: u ar...immediately i finished reading your pours heavily outside...haha

papajoneh said...

and I'm here again... but just couldn't force myself to read it again or else.. i will be in tears again.
and its 1am now!

Bee Ean Tee said...

Thanks for sharing. At least you get to keep the happy moments with him in your memory.

CRIZ LAI said...

papajoneh: I had the same experience trying to proof read it before posting.

bee ean tee: surprised to see you here. Thanks for the comfort :)

SuwaN said...

oics.. my time.. all waste !!
regret now!
time really will let my live againT.T

Sweetpea said...

i really do not know wat to say, so i won't say anything. makes me all the more i want to fly home straightaway... but we have our own lives to live, commitments to make.
nevertheless, it is courageous and kind of you to share this post with us, reminding us that we do need each other.
treasure the treasure that was given to you...
take care~

healy said...

Criz, oh Criz! I really love your blog. May be you should consider to become a writer. I am serious!

Anyway, this post made me in tears and I feel thankful as I am the one who help my mum to take care of my grandpa ( the man that I grown up with) till his last breath. I really thank god for given me this opportunity.

Very god post.I know there will be more....And I am looking forward to read them.

CRIZ LAI said...

suwan: the time is in your hands. Use it properly and you will not regret it in the future.

sweetpea: yea...we should treasure what was given to us. Thanks :)

healy: A writer? I thought bloggers are already writers of their own kind. Anyway, thanks for the compliment. I do hope I can go through this period of emotional stress before I can write more about this type of touching experience.

Anonymous said...

Is this a real story of yours? cos I have once read an article sent from my's a touching story exactly like what you have written..only different was the character changed..maybe the writer copy yours!

CRIZ LAI said...

anonymous: assure you. T stand for Tan, and he stays few blocks away from my house. He's the only elderly person other than my parents who have watched me growing up from a teenager to a man. How could a person copy such a personal life tell me?

But then I do believe that somewhere in this world, there is someone who look like you, think like you or even experienced thing almost like you.

By the way, I'm a person who will accept any constructive comment. Why must you stay anonymous?

Val said...

Crizzy, that's a very touching experience you're sharing with us, your readers. And yes, you're giving out a very firm, strong message, reminding each and everyone of us to always cherish our love ones. Thanks a zillion. You're one dang inspiring author you know that? I enjoy reading your blog! *hugs*

CRIZ LAI said...

val: isn't it good to be reminded of those little things that we take for granted in life? Oh...thanks for the compliment :)

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