(Thankfully most of us did not spend our childhood times during the tough times during World War 2 – Image source: http://upload.wikimedia.org)
My grandmother – from my mother’s side is about 75 now (75 or 70, she can’t recall for she is not sure which year she was born).
She was born in Malaysia (Malaya back then), lived in Taiping where her father (my great grandfather) had a grocery shop (which meant they had rice for meals). She had a sister and 2 brothers and thanks to her father’s resourcefulness, the whole family survived through the Japanese occupation during the War World 2 (not making any trouble with the Japanese helped too).
Please read the rest of the childhood series here
She told me this once – during the Japanese occupation, the soldiers were rounding the men and women. Her father closed the shop and locked the main doors. The family stayed hidden in the house for weeks until it was safe to come out. She heard that some of the men that were rounded up were killed by the soldiers.
She moved to Port Dickson when she got married to my grandfather – a supervisor in the railway company. My grandfather was well built and was stern with his workers but was very soft on me – my grandmother often says that I have my grandfather’s shoulders.
I did not know my grandfather that well (he passed away when I was still young) but my mother often said that my grandfather was very close to me (I miss him now). He often will “kidnap” me from my parent’s house.
One thing I remember when I was small is that I often hold my grandmother’s hands when I am sleeping. Somehow, it gives me great comfort and I felt safe too. In the morning, she would make sure that I had a hot bath and when I followed her to the market, she always buys my favourite breakfast.
I was pampered all day long (it still continues till now – of course my son is experiencing the same thing with my parents).
I am grateful that my grandmother is still well and healthy till this day (must have been all the hard work when she was young). We make it a point to visit her at least once a week (she stays in her eldest son’s house) and whenever she is free (ya, she is a busy lady with a lot of grandchildren and great-grandchildren), she will come over to my house for a night or two.
I love this tough lady…