Monday, April 07, 2008

Till we meet again...

Eddie Toh, the author of this blog, died suddenly on Sunday, March 30, 2008, just two days before what would have been his 41st birthday. His funeral took place on Thursday, April 3, 2008 at Singapore's Mandai crematorium. This is an extract of a tribute read to the service by his beloved wife Linda Goh.

The first time I met Eddie was about 15 years ago. I was 18 and he was 27. He had come to check me out after his colleagues told him to take a look at who his secretary was having lunch with. I must say I was quite disappointed to learn that "this" irritating guy was Nina's boss.

He pretended to be disinterested. You know Eddie, always trying to be cool. Women did not affect him - or not that let he let on. It just as well, because I was seeing someone else at the time. In fact, I could have easily forgotten Eddie. But he would not let me. He would continue to make himself a nuisance by wise-cracking whenever our paths crossed. It would not occur to me until much later that he was actually interested in me.

Yes, first impressions can be misleading. Never could I have imagined that such a forgettable encounter would mark the start of an incredible journey with a man who was able to make me feel I was the most special woman in the world.

Today, as I look back, I smile to myself at how silly he was all those times he tried to get to know me better. I remember vividly how he held my hand the first time. I had challenged him to "ponteng" - steal a day - from work, which he told me he had never done before. He accepted the challenge and took me to a movie.

While I was pretending to watch the show, waiting for him to make his move, he was obviously plotting. First, he manoeuvred his hand around his lap until it was next to my thigh. Then he pressed that hand into my hand. And then he drew both our hands to his side.

Naturally, I gave not the slightest hint that I had noticed anything was going on. But inside, it was the most warm and wonderful feeling. It was the start of a beautiful life together - a life I wish with all my heart had gone on so much longer.

Honey, you meant everything to me. You gave me love, you gave me laughter. You tickled me, you taught me. You brought me joy, you made me cry. But when I cried you would end up crying with me. And with each tear that fell, we grew closer. Because that is what true love is: Accepting each other for the good and the bad, the highs and the lows, the perfect and the imperfect.

Didi, we had great times and some sad times. But before we knew it, we had become each other's second nature. Every day I would see you working at your computer, typing furiously as you made funny faces at me. Yes, you were always there. Supporting me and guiding me. Cuddling me with your arms - and your eyes. No one ever made me feel so comfortable. No one touched me more. No one ever could. I miss you so much….

Your friends tell me I was the best thing that happened to you. I refuse to believe this. Because let me tell you - and everyone - that you are the best thing that ever happened to me. Didi, you are my soul mate.

As I bid you farewell today, let me say again: Darling, this is not goodbye - not for me. I do not pretend to understand why you are continuing your journey alone. But I know you are in good hands, because I saw you coming close to the Lord in the final months of your life. I know He has guided you home. And when my time comes, I pray that I will have done enough to join you in heaven, so we can make up for all the time we did not share on earth. Knowing you, I know you would have made plans for me too.

As surely as love conquers all, you conquered my heart, Didi. I thank you for the past 15 years. I thank you for all you did for my family, for all you did for our friends. But most of all, my love, I thank you for all you did for me.

You did well, Didi. So rest well. You will always be a part of me and I will always love you.

Till we meet again for ‘mee-pok’ and ‘koay-teow-teng’.

Missing you dearly,