• kwankew

My Brother Wee: Living a life for Others


Today we mourn the passing of our brother Wee and celebrate a life well-lived.


Shortly after mid-night last night, I went to Rock Meadow to see the Geminid meteor shower. The first one I saw was around the time when he passed away.


My brother Wee always cared for each one of us before himself and he did it without reservations, conditions, or wishing for anything in return. His selfless nature shone throughout his life.


His dedication to my family and especially to my mother was exemplary. He kept his promise to my father that he would not get married but would take care of my mother as long as he was not forced to marry someone he could not.


His "delicate" stomach which he called his "gastric" prevented him from indulging in spicy food but that never stopped him from splurging and spoiling us with food that he could not enjoy. He also loved to buy fresh fruits just to see us enjoy eating them.


He was a dashing young man and kept himself clean and fit with his body-building program. I once visited him in the garage where he worked as a mechanic for the Penang City Transport Department and met his colleagues. The blackened greasy grime of the place was enlivened with calendars from the 1960s of women in their bathing suits leaning against posh and expensive cars which the men there could only dream about. When he went out in the evening after work, applying Brylcreem liberally to his hair, and no matter how much he cleaned, his fingernails were lined with black grease. I couldn't help but wondered if he was meeting someone lovely.


When I was growing up, he was like a protective shield for me from the unpredictable temper of my father or from other possible calamities. He made me feel safe.


When I was sick, Ah Yee (my mother) refused to take me to the hospital because she was burdened with so much work, he gently asked her to take me. She listened to him.


Every so often, on the weekends he treated us to a late-night movie at the local cinema and gave us enough money to buy our favorite Cha Bee Hoon after the movie. By the time we were home to enjoy the fried noodles, he was already asleep.


He paid for my fees to take my O-level and when I passed he rewarded me with a beautiful Citizen lady's watch, a gift that left me speechless.


Always forgiving, seldom criticized or raised his voice, and wonderful with children, he sought to be a source of comfort and solace in our lives.


He lived his life with the aim to lift up the lives of others.


God bless him abundantly. May he rest in peace


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