On my recent trip back to Malaysia, I dropped by my hometown in Klebang (Malacca).
It has never been quite the same since the passing of my late grandpa almost a decade back.
And now, with the passing of my late grandma, things have changed even more.
As I step into the house, no longer greeted by the hyperactive Benji (which I call him) or Bingo (which my grandad named him), who passed away due to old age a year or two back.
I was no longer greeted by my petite grandma, with her warm hugs and even warmer smile.
The house, with its lack of occupant, feels so empty and cold, in contrast to the memories that I have of that place - which is warm and familiar. It's true what they say, a home is only a house without your loved ones in it.
I looked at the ceiling-high glass cabinet, which my grandpa so proudly display his wedding photos and that of his children, together with his collectibles and paraphernalia.
As I walked up the stairs, I looked at the floor carpet that we will usually roll out during special occasions like CNY (tho I did saw it in some photos during my mom night-before-wedding ceremony, which means that carpet is older than me!).
I walked into Kung Kung room, and look at the black and white photo of him when he was younger - before he married my Poh Poh.
Then, when I walked into the upstairs bathroom, I choked holding back my tears when I saw this.
Strange how one (free) cup can stir so much emotions in me. This cup for the longest time I could remember, has held many, many toothbrushes. When we used to have events back in Malacca, those who are not local will stay over at Klebang, which could be as many as 15 of us. And everytime we leave, this cup will have more toothbrushes than it did before we arrive. And everyone will deny it's theirs the next time we are back (again, bringing toothbrushes that will also be left behind again).
Now with both my grandparents gone, I know that the gatherings we used to have will be less frequent. And there may come a time, where it will completely stop altogether, especially when this house is sold.
I wish there is a way to preserve this. Preserve this home. Preserve this tradition.
To turn back time and savor every moment all over again.