I would like to immortalize and commemorate my father's life in writing before I get older and the world forgets; before I forget.
His name was Albert Chah Kun Chong. The first of all Chahs to come. Yeah, the nurse/registrar got his surname wrong when registering. It's supposed to be Chan, like all his other siblings that came before and after him. So, I guess I'm the only one in charge in passing the Chah legacy on.
He was born on the 16th of February, 1957 and passed on the 14th of September, 2000. He lived a pretty good life and died young. He died from a cardiac arrest, in his sleep. When he left us, I don't think I felt much of anything. I was almost 10 and cannot stop playing Pokémon Yellow. I remember thinking to myself on the day of his funeral... Thinking if I should be putting on a brooding face like everyone else and stop playing Pokémon with my cousin.
I know his death did not mean too much to me back then, but it doesn't stop me from thinking what if... What if he's still around. What if I grew up with the presence of my father. Things definitely would have been different. Everything would be.
But I'm not here to write about how I feel about his death or his absence (maybe a little). I'm here to celebrate his life, however much I could remember of it.
I remember his stubble, and how he used to tickle me by scratching me with it.
I remember his lingering fragrance at the sink, after his morning gussying up in front of the mirror.
I remember his Wira (and then Waja) stopping in close by the inner gate, after a long day at work, and the fumes that signaled his return.
I remember the times he let me step on his feet and how he would walk me around the house.
I remember when he would cane me for skipping his Sunday evening jogs.
I remember the familiar restaurants in Section 17 at which he would make stops after his runs.
I remember admiring his sales awards and badminton/football trophies, thinking to myself how unathletic I was.
I remember his air-flicks near my ear, trying to scare or get a response out of his kids.
I remember fetching water in his big tin mug for him as he watched the TV on the belted plastic lounger.
I remember he would make instant noodles with onions and garlics... That was weird to me.
There are many more things that I remember of him, but the above are the "freshest" memories I have of him now.
I miss you, dad.
In 4 years I'll be your age when you got me.
In 14 years I'll be your age when you passed.
In some years I'll see you again and catch up on the good times we never had.