This post is dedicated to my brother-in-law and friend, Paul Lee. Paul Lee was my elder sister, Hui Ling’s husband and they have a boy who is now 3-years old named Ian. Paul had been reunited with his creator last Friday after a 2-years fight against the big C – cancer. He was diagnosed with Hepatitis B with hepatoma.
When I first met Paul, the very first impression I had was his friendly smile. He was easy to talk to and his broad knowledge of almost everything , yes I meant almost everything and even updates of it made me impressed of him. Soon, when Paul and my sister got married, our relationship got closer with the time we spent on trips especially one to Japan, where we actually dipped naked in the hot sauna. Not just that, he also enjoyed photography and we sometimes share our views together on camera gears. I have gotten two second placings in an international wedding photography contest and I would love to share it with Paul. Even until now, if it was not because of his support and kindness to borrow me his lens (he got a new 70-200mm f2.8 canon lens but he seldom used it, instead he borrowed it to me, telling me that I would need it more than him and asked me to use it to capture more beautiful photos for the couples whom I shoot), I wouldn’t have just gotten those placings and even more, capture more photos for my couples. For that, I am and will always be grateful to have such a generous brother-in-law.
Another thing Paul loved was food. He really knows where to get nice food and because of that, our family was fortunate to taste good food. Even till the day when he can’t really eat the food outside because of his condition, he would tell us to go try this food and that food. He is such a person, who always think of all of us and taking care of us. When my mom passed away, my dad had lost a good companionship and when Paul came in to the family, he became that substitute and like another son to my dad. They have things in common like mechanical and engineering stuffs as well as life experiences. They were much closer friend and sometimes I envied them but I was really happy for my dad to have a good company since I am almost away most of the time in another state.
When Paul was diagnosed with cancer, our hearts sank. We have lost our mom to cancer as well and we were pessimisted about it. But Paul was optimistic although he had to undergo two surgeries and also drug therapy which had the similar side effects as chemotherapy. It was not easy after the two major surgeries but Paul’s determination was strong and he told us that he will continue to fight against it. He also tried some herbal leaves, whereby the taste was bitter and awful to be taken. But for Paul, he found ways of his own to make it taste better. And from someone who do not like fruits and vegetables, he changed his lifestyle totally and with his own initiative, make his own fruit juice everyday. His diet became more bland although sometimes he would be tempted to eat something which he used to love to eat. I remembered once when he was craving for “kuey chap” (a singaporean cuisine) and he could not travel far to eat it and Amelyn and I managed to find it in Kuala Lumpur. The moment we told him the news he was so happy that he made his way to KL for it and had two bowls of it.
Even when Paul’s health deterioted, he would still think of travelling. His latest plan was to travel to Seremban to visit his newborn niece (my third sister’s baby, Joy) in his new car,Toyota Estima which he had been dreaming to buy all this while and he managed to get it. Despite his weak body which had been pulling him down, he was still mentally strong and persisted to go collect his new car from the shop and drove all the way back to his house himself. Unfortunately, God had His own plan for Paul and decided to call Paul home a week earlier before the trip was made.
To my sister and Ian, Paul will always be the most caring and loving husband and father to you both. He will watch over you as he had been over our family for all these years. We will miss him so dearly and remember him always. And to Paul, we know you are now in the good hands of God and all your pain have been taken away. I always picture it, that we will one day meet again in Heavens and will be greeted by you and Mom. Till then, you will always be in our thoughts and heart.
Paul and my sister with their son, Ian.
Our last photo with Paul (wearing the red cap) during Chinese New Year 2012. ..