To Uncle Joe

Goodbye Uncle Joe

A Tribute to Uncle Joe

In my music journey, I have 8 piano teachers and you are the 6th. Out of so many teachers in my life, you have truly impacted me in ways that you do not even know. I have failed to learn from my own students who wrote me my eulogy and even gave me a lengthy letter that made tears fall. I have my own ego where I refused to even write you a lengthy piece or even apologize to you.

Right now, I pen it all here as a remembrance. This will serve me as a reminder as I do not know what the future holds, but I will hold dear to your counsel.

You Taught Me More Than Music

In piano, you taught me how to sight-read so fast that my eyes swim. As I wouldn’t want to be seen as a dumb student, you showed me by playing one time while I stand behind you trying to figure out what was going on. Once you stand up, I have to take the seat and it was my turn to play. I don’t know whether other student of yours like this style or not, but I prefer this style compared to going slow. Those few months were a bridge to something else. I silently wished I have half of your talent as you are the Don Moen of Malaysia.

You have taught me baking and cooking more than music. The first was quiche. I have never heard of that but I soon mastered that with your guidance over the phone. Then, you taught me how to perfect that old man’s cake as I call it – sugee cake. I have never used Golden Churn in a tin until you said that’s the best butter for old man’s cake. Thank you for providing the brandy all the time when it was needed. I have no love for that cake but my hubby loves it very much. You like it, too. Since both of your age add up makes it more than 100 years old, thus the nickname for sugee cake.

You taught me about more atas food. Now I have developed such taste for food that I became a very picky eater. But you are such a good cook that you do not need recipe books. You are quick to let me know how to salvage a dish when the taste was simply just awful. But with your quick wit, the food became a dish qualified to be served on the dining table.

Then I became like your personal shopper wherever I go. That old style meat jerky was so old school that none of us know such thing existed. And the shop was so hidden in the middle of Georgetown but I found the place anyway. Because of this ability to find things in hidden places, I have now become quite resourceful in searching for manufacturers to export goods. 

I didn’t know you know about cloth and the liking for those English style fabric. This part I can’t really remember what were those cloth for, Christmas tree skirt base?

You taught me about anger management, not to snap at anything or get angry unnecessarily. I think you figured that I have the same kind of temper that you had. I have not mastered my temper completely yet, but I will try my best to remember not to blow my top at every small thing that did not go my way. I’ll work on it.

You taught me about perfectionism. How much I wanted things to be perfect but most of the time, things just didn’t look as perfect as it should be. Insta-worthy but behind the scene, the truth was otherwise. I will learn how to not chase after perfection all the time. 

And I was really shocked that you know how to cross-stitch! Thank God I already know how to cross-stitch if not I would have fainted. Is there anything that you don’t know?

The Little Things That You Did

No one will accept failed food experiments but you have done it more than once. My first failed spiral curry puffs, then my failed sponge cake with fruits on top of all the cream. They were so bad I would cry if someone gave it to me but you offered to take them away and encouraged me to try again next time. Well, I did not try again until recently. But you will never know it because we were no longer on talking terms. Even if you were, I was not.

That quiche and tart pan you gave me was the biggest surprise I ever had. Then you made my favourite Korean fishcakes – this I will never forget. Yours tasted better than those I have every day in Korea. Your char siu was really delicious, too. And other good food in between.

Then you invited us to your home for Sunday evening worship. I did not know that you had to verbally wrestle to get us invited. But later on, I knew about it. Thank you for those cream puffs as supper.

When I was in China, you have installed WeChat so that there was no lost communication. Heh… you were actually looking at China through my eyes and nut-shopping, the almond was the best compared to your craze over pine nuts. 

Then when I needed ideas and suggestions, you were always there to give them. When I needed a listening ear, you were there. When I needed advice, you were never too stingy with them.

When I first bought Blessings, you even find groomer for him and called up another groomer that I have found to check with them to make sure it is a good one. I ended up sticking to the groomer that you have suggested because Blessings only want to go to her. Dr. Lynn in Ark was also under your recommendation and the rabbits benefited from it.

These are the little things that I do not forget. But I have to write it here lest I forget one day.

Your Wise Words

You taught me about choosing friends wisely. Then you showed me your own friends from yesteryears how they have treated you and not to be afraid to ditch friends who are toxic. The only one person worthy to be called best friend is Jesus.

Then you taught me about your own life. How to be humble before being humbled by God. I will always remember to be humble and stay humble for the rest of my life. 

You have told me countless time to jot down my recipes so I could produce the same quality of goodies at all times. I was lazy to do that but now I am doing it. 

You have voiced out how important is one’s walk with God. How important it is to pray, to spend time with God. 

Always smile and be friendly, not be an ice queen. One of your lame jokes about being friendly to everyone is so that many people will attend your funeral. This is so lame and do you know I am not even invited to your funeral? Nobody got an invitation, but don’t you worry – I am a friendly person, just not so in a church building.

My Regrets

I have wanted to tell you this after our disconnection but I never came around to do it. I just refused to. I even refused to finish the stitching of Shalom which you would really like to see. You have asked me to just stitch the dog and forget about the floor tiles. 

I have wanted to continue with the stitching this week but I couldn’t bring myself to do it and suddenly, you were gone. Do you know how angry and upset I am with myself?

I simply believe that eulogy should be written or read out to a person when a person is still alive and able to enjoy all the lovely words and not after a person is no more on earth. But now I only have to live with regrets. I hope that God will let you know what I have always wanted to tell you.

I have never wanted to make you feel like you are a condemned person. You are the best teacher, the best father figure that I never have even if it was just for a short period of time.

I am sorry if I made you feel that you have wasted your energy, your effort and your time. 

Nothing is Wasted

In my time of trouble, the few people whom I could think of to call for help is you, other than Pr. Kenneth and Pr. Sharon. But I didn’t share with you what I have encountered on the day I decided to call for your help.

And if you ever worry that I am not serving God well enough, I want to assure you that I am doing what He wants me to do. But I could not tell you what I am doing. As much as you want to see me serving on a keyboard, I might lack the talent to do so.

About the disconnection, it was because I needed to connect with Pr Kenneth and Pr Sharon. You are that bridge connecting me to them and may the Lord reward you with a mansion in heaven for such important connection. Do you not know that you have done something great by asking us to attend TiC?

In all your many regrets in life, and thinking that you have not contributed much to the kingdom of God, I want to tell you that you are wrong. You have contributed to something very big that you could not even imagine. I hope Jesus will stand beside you in heaven and show you when time comes. 

I am not a waste of your time and effort, in whatever investment you have ever done in your life, I am a living investment that will bear good fruit. 

I do not know how many lives you have impacted, but I am very sure you have impacted my life. I will never forget how kind you have been and how I have repaid you with heartache and disappointment. 

Just to let you know, I have successfully made those spiral curry puffs, I have perfected sponge cakes and I have done a lot of food experiments. I did not give up when I failed, I started on the next experiment after the first failed attempt. I did write down all my recipes. I have met many other new acquaintances, just not church people. I have learned how to edit videos, I will learn how to make videos from scratch soon. I have learned how to export goods. I have this website which you have never seen or heard of. I have YouTube channel for business. Your prayer for my family and I are not wasted. 

All in all, you have fought the good fight, you have finished the race, you have kept the faith. 

I do appreciate you and I am truly sorry for hurting your feelings three years ago. I know you do not hold any grudges against me but how I wished I have said those two words ‘I’m sorry’. 

Uncle Joe
See you in heaven, Uncle Joe!
What are your feelings
Updated on November 29, 2021

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