This morning, I received a sad news from my sister. My nanny, baby sitter, guardian of many years have passed away today. I called her "Ah Mmm", which is Hokkien for Auntie. She took care of me when I was 5 year old until I turned 14 or 15 years old as both my parents are working parents. She took care of my two younger sisters too.
I have very good memories of the time I spent in Ah Mmm's house. When I was first sent to her, she lived in a kampong - the actual site is where PWTC and The Mall is now. At that time, her house was on stilts because that was a flood prone area. And there was no water - we drew water from a well. Yes, Mr Ringgit, KL boy, has experienced a village life, living out of well. Can't imagine huh? So I lived with her for about two years when she finally moved to Kolam Air, near Jalan Ipoh now. This house, which she still lived in today, was where I spent most of my childhood.
I remember asking Ah Mmm for 20 sen every evening so I could go to a local sundry shop and buy junk food, particularly Mamee. I also remember her cooking pork floss and me helping her to smash the pork into very fine floss using a stone chisel. And during festive seasons, I would helped her make "kueh kar pek" - and this is cooked on a charcoal satay-like pit. I learned to cycle there and I also learned to overcome my fear of a rooster attack there. She reared chicken and there was this alpha male rooster that became very protective of the hens and would attack children and adult alike. I screamed when he chased me - it was really terrifying.
Every year, we visit Ah Mmm and enjoyed her signature duck meen sin. It was one of a kind. She would cooked a huge servings to serve a very big family gathering. No one makes meen sin like Ah Mmm. I am saddened by her departure but it is expected. She suffered a stroke and have been half paralysed for almost 1 and a half year. In a way, her suffering has ended.
I don't remember any wise advise that Ah Mmm have given me as she doesn't really talk much but these days, a psychologist would tell you that how a kid turned out is based on the guardian that he spent the most time with. In my case, I would say that I spent a lot of time under Ah Mmm's supervision and what I am today is a direct reflection of her guidances.
I will be going to her wake tonight. Her funeral is on Thursday. I will bid her my last respect and farewell. I will always remember her!
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