Eulogy (the version before I edited it)

Thank you everyone for being here. I think my dad would have loved to know so many of you love him. And thank you Ng and Chan cousins and and uncles and aunties for all the help. Especially for taking care of my mom. First I want to say sorry for being a bad cousin, a bad nephew and a bad uncle. I have not been always around. I feel embarrassed because every time I visit you have always been kind and generous – and welcoming to me and my family. Your kids were so nice to my kids even though they had not met before. Thank you also for always being there for my mom and dad all these years.

My dad taught me how to ride a bike. He taught my brother how to ride the see-saw. But he did it so well that one day he rode the see-saw all the way to the hospital. If you want the full story you can ask Joel. All I will say is I was relieved when he and Elena had their beautiful baby Aarielle, because after that accident I was worried all these years. Luckily everything down there still worked.

That’s the thing with our dad. My mom always said like gau dou deen – like a kid – dunno when to stop. From when I was young until now, it was always the same. My dad was a guy who was generous and had much love to give. More than you could handle. Like adding chocolate sprinkles on top of chocolate syrup on top of chocolate ice cream, even if you say stop, he could always add some more. Because he loved you, and he didn’t know how to stop when he wanted to make you happy.

And if any of you cousins remember when you were younger playing with Uncle. You know there are some things he does that you cannot forget. But consider yourselves lucky. You are lucky you just got a small dose of him. My brother and I got the overdose. My dad loved music. And he never got tired of his favorite songs. For years, he tortured us with Harry Belafonte. The Banana boat song. The stupid Coconut song. Indian songs. Chinese songs. “I hear the bell go ding dong ding dong inside my heart”… He will play them over and over again until all your dreams and nightmares have the songs playing as the soundtrack. And every time when I came back to visit, he would play his playlist first thing in the morning when he made breakfast. While we were all still trying to sleep a little longer. DAY-O! DAAAAAY OH! Every single day.

I thought it was so annoying. But then I had kids. And he gave them the same Experience. My kids are 6 and 4 years old. They loved it. They loved all his stupid songs. They don’t stop singing it. My son has a ‘shower song’. A song he sings while he showers. For the last few weeks, he has been singing the Wong Fei Hong theme song. DNG NG NG DNg NGgg NGgg NGgg DNGgg dNGgg DNG DNG DNG ng ng ng nggggg. He did not learn it from me.

He learned it because when my mom and dad came to visit us a few months ago, every morning my kids would wake up first. And then they would run to jump on the bed and wake up my dad. And guess what – now that we have smartphones, he now has his entire collection of songs saved on his phone. And he can blast it anywhere he goes. Every morning, they sing his chinese songs, indian songs, scout songs, chinese nursery rhymes.

One game he made up to play with my kids is called “Apu the ticket man”. He sits in a chair and the kids run by and he tries to collect their tickets and they try to run away. I don’t know why the ticket man’s name is Apu. But Apu is supposed to be Indian, and my dad pretends to talk with an Indian accent. And I have to remind him uhhh dad, in America people are more sensitive. There are Indians here I with no sense of humor and get offended easily. You can’t just go around (accent) “talking like Apu the Ticket man”

Then another time, I caught him showing my 6 and 4 year olds a video of Ahmed the Dead Terrorist. You know, the comedy with the ventroloquist and SILENCE, I KILL YOU.. ? And I have to explain to him. OK dad. He is funny but maybe it’s too early for me to explain to them what a terrorist is and what is suicide bombing and why he’s a skeleton…

Another time, my 4-year old daughter ran into the room, farted, said “AIR BISCUIT” laughed and ran away. We did not teach her that.

I haven’t told my kids their grandpa has passed away. I don’t know how to. Because he’s someone you cannot forget. Almost every day, my kids laugh and talk about “REMEMBER when grandpa did this or that” Remember Apu the ticket man? Remember Shamu? And they laugh. Sometimes many times every day. I don’t know how to tell them that this grandpa they love and think about every day is gone. And that they can’t play with him again. Or see him or talk to him. It doesn’t matter if they cry or throw a tantrum..

One story I tell my kids when they complain about eating food is that grandpa would never complain about food when he was your age. Because he was the youngest and smallest in the family, he said by the time he could reach the dishes most of it was already gone. And he said Aunty Monica would help him because she is the big sister. Because he was the youngest, when his brothers would play music and he wanted to join, they would say OK and give him maracas and put him on top of the cupboard so he won’t kacau them.

Because of that I think he always felt like he had something to prove. When I was growing up he worked on an oil painting the first thing every morning, before anyone else woke up. He drew all the things he wanted in life for his family. Things he didn’t have yet. Money, Car, House. He thought if he believed in it enough, he could make it come true. And he did make them come true. Then he thought “Aiya if I knew it would work why didn’t paint more in my picture!” Then he went back and added more to the painting. Made the stacks of money taller and changed the model of the car to a Mercedes. But he had ups and downs. Maybe not all the things he hoped for, but we always loved him and we were proud of him.

He always forced us to eat dinner together, because he believed being together as a family was important. He very much wanted to feel like the provider of the family. The man of the house. So it was very hard for him in the last few years. There was the stroke. He had been slowly getting weaker. When he was played with my kids a few months ago he was tired a lot. But no matter what he got up early every day, did his morning stretches and played with them. He played until he was tired and then he would sneak away to take a nap. Then wake up and play with them again. Then at night after the kids went to bed he would never say no to go and bicycles with me. My mom worried about him riding a bike and my wife said he shouldn’t. But that was just him. He doesn’t know how to say no if he loves you. I wish you could have seen him. He was so happy. Every night there was a small hill right before my house. One night out of the blue he said, “Want to race?” I was surprised. But then I thought this old man… wants to race me??? No way I am going to say no. And then every night after that, at that last hill before our house, that he would say, “Ready?” And race me up the hill. I never asked him because I didn’t want to push him. But if you know my dad, he doesn’t know how to say no. At the top of the hill each time I was worried he was going to die. But after that he would walk around with his chest out like he conquered a mountain. He was so happy.

Then just a few weeks ago he fell taking some leaves out to the road and cut his achilles tendon. His leg was in a cast and he was struggling on one leg for a while. And he was more sad than usual.

I didn’t want to believe that anything was seriously wrong with my dad. I thought it’s just part of growing old. His injuries will heal and he’ll be back to his usual self again. The last time I talked to him his mind was as sharp as always. If you think of the brain like the engine of the car, and if you say the body is like the car body, it was like his engine was still good. But the rest of the car was slowly falling apart. He had leukemia – cancer of the blood. His brain was fine, but his blood stopped working well, and that made his body stop working.

But you know men are supposed to be tough. Or so they say. He never wanted us to worry about him. He would rather hide his pain than have anyone fuss about him. When business wasn’t good, my mom and dad would sometimes fight about money. She was frustrated at how he never wanted to look at the accounting and he didn’t like when she said we have no money and we have to cut back. But recently I got to ask him about it. I wanted to know why he was bad at budgets and accounting. And to him it was simple. He explained that he never wanted mom to feel like we couldn’t afford something. Or that we were struggling. Even if we really couldn’t, he felt like it was his duty as our provider to tell us we could. He never wanted any of us to worry. Because he doesn’t know how to say no if he loves you.

If he knew he had this condition, as bad as it sounds, I wouldn’t be surprised if he tried to hide it. Of course that is not true, none of us knew. But maybe he suspected. But he always wanted us to see him as our strong father. Never wanted to anyone to fuss over him. He hated feeling helpless.

When I was packing to come here I wanted to wear my first suit – that my parents made for me 15 years ago. But it didn’t fit. It was too big. Because in your parents eyes you are always growing or you need to exercise more or you’re always too skinny and will you need to eat more.

I missed my dad so I looked at the mirror to try to see if I could see his face. I could see him for a little bit. But instead I remembered many things. Because he’s the kind of person you cannot forget. Some of you might remember some things too.

For example: this is a question for my Ng and Chan cousins: who knows the secret handshake? Or the super whistle where he puts his fingers in his mouth and goes phwee wee wee wee. He tried to teach me but I can’t do that.

He loved many little simple things in life. It didn’t take much for him to be happy. Life is strange. You can make plans for next month or next year. And you think you have time.
Joel, Elena, Aarielle I know he loved you very much. Mom he loved you very much. He just wanted to be a good father and a good husband and a good grandfather and take care of us. And give us everything. And make us happy. He loved life. He loved our family more than anything else. There will be no one else like him. I love you dad.

And now, the end is near
And so I face the final curtain
My friend, I’ll say it clear
I’ll state my case, of which I’m certain
I’ve lived a life that’s full
I’ve traveled each and every highway
But more, much more than this
I did it my way
Regrets, I’ve had a few
But then again, too few to mention
I did what I had to do
And saw it through without exemption
I planned each charted course
Each careful step along the byway
And more, much more than this
I did it my way
Yes, there were times, I’m sure you knew
When I bit off more than I could chew
But through it all, when there was doubt
I ate it up and spit it out
I faced it all and I stood tall
And did it my way

I’ve loved, I’ve laughed and cried
I’ve had my fill my share of losing
And now, as tears subside
I find it all so amusing
To think I did all that
And may I say – not in a shy way
Oh no, oh no, not me
I did it my way
For what is a man, what has he got
If not himself, then he has naught
To say the things he truly feels
And not the words of one who kneels
The record shows I took the blows
And did it my way
Yes, it was my way


I just got back from Saturday morning bike riding with my French dad friend B. He is like the male equivalent of a blonde. Haha but I feel bad saying that because he’s a great guy. He has trouble with mechanical things or tools. While we were on the trail his pedal fell off because he didn’t tighten it properly. Then when we looked at the pedal, a plastic cap was missing. I helped him look for it on the trail, but couldn’t find it. Later that day, he returned me the tools he borrowed to fix his bike the previous night. When I was putting the tools away, I noticed something extra on one end of a wrench. It was his missing plastic cap. If it was still stuck on the wrench, he was nowhere close to putting his pedal back on last night. I told him and he laughed, “Haha, it must have come off when I pulled the wrench out.” And that made less sense, because it is a screw-on cap. If he screwed it on just a little bit, there’s no way it can pop out just by pulling.

Sep 29
skyped with grandpa today
you three talked about all the things you remember together
apu pool games piggy bedtime
Legoland Chinese songs nursery rhymes
grandpa’s songs Indian music time
grandpa could hardly talk all choked up
usually you don’t talk much over the video calls
but since their visit you were laughing and talking loudly

me. I will start the bedtime story as soon as everyone is quiet
J whispering; you said quiet but not silent
mama cracked up

peppered salami wrap for school

why do you like going this way to school now
we used to go the other way sometimes
because when I was littler I like to hear your stories for longer

favorite necklace from book fair, wears it every day — raptor claw.

j: my pumpkin has stitches because it’s been in pumpkin battles

when I look back at old pictures and visit old memories
I get flooded with a wave of all the branches I didn’t take
all the different lives i could have led

I love my bike. it is so fun. not only to ride but I also have endless fun tinkering with the mechanical bits. sadly that means it’s growing to be quite a money pit. have to control myself. luckily it’s not as expensive as some other hobbies.

Oct 12
Napa is on fire. 2000+ buildings destroyed
fire came suddenly late at night, caught many people unprepared, could not be contained for over a week

Oct 10
j wakes up crying and sobbing
“my legs hurt so much”
“both my legs hurt in the same place”
“I’m just sniffling”

mama’s grandma passed away
one day during one of her visits before her last stroke
she grabbed titi as she was leaving
she said to her, “when I go I’m taking you with me.” That’s messed up.

2017 walkathon
J: 35 laps
j: 11 laps

J wanted 50, but settled for 35. You were proud of yourself. You went til your feet hurt and you were tired. Then you went some more to reach your 35 goal. 25 was last year’s goal. We had a good chance to talk about mental tricks to go far and long.
E.g. giving sections a name, like forest 1, tree with scarecrow, hill section, water station, spray station, shady forest, grassy section, music section.
That helped us break up a far goal into near goals that go by fast.
I didn’t want to push you farther than you wanted to go, since you’re still young.
We walked most of the last 20 laps.
We talked about ultramarathons. You asked about eating, peeing, pooping and sleeping. And about how it’s easy to keep going once you’re going. But it’s hard to start once you stop.
Then we all had movie night at one of your friends’ house.

it’s five thirty am
going riding with dads
first time on trail
alpine road Russian trail
nervous single speed climbing
testing the skills I’ve learned

we went for a bike ride to alta vista today. mama was helping set up the class fish tank
we went to ride our bikes and play in the playground
follow the leader, we took turns
j was getting better with her pedal braking instead of her foot braking
after bike follow-the-leader we played playground follow-the-leader
you were climbing in ways I never saw, because we hadn’t gone to the playground together fora while. and that was your school playground that you go to every recess.
you showed me some new tricks, like climbing up the chinup poles. There are short medium tall and you can make your way to the tallest one now.
Then we played follow-the-leader and each time you took a turn I was surprised because you went up/down places where there were no steps. Now I understood what you were telling me about when you said that no one can catch you when you play tag because you just climb where none of your friends can go. i’m also not surprised now that you told me that your friends don’t want to play tag with you anymore.

after ride it felt like I took uppers and downers – was tired but wide awake

90% was brutal uphill. Climbed up on single speed. Was interesting, had to manage my energy to not burn out. Was faster than others but don’t know if it was more difficult. Sitting down means 100% power delivered by legs. Standing up power output comes from combined entire body. But that means higher risk of burning out because easy to use too much power. Needed to keep rhythm, try not to go too fast.
It was mostly mental because I didn’t hit my cardio limit. It was mostly endurance of body and mind.I had to ignore looking at the hill ahead, and just focus on putting one foot in front of the other.
The hard parts are when there is a difficult movement or some challenging obstacle in the way. That takes me into the red zone and I’m temporarily at a deficit. So I have to manage the pain a little bit until I’m back to stable and sustainable pace.
Downhill was quick. Over in minutes. French was fast on his full sus. I crashed into the bushes a few times and almost went over the side of the hill. Didn’t trust the turns at all. Doctor was playing it safe taking it easy behind. But he had the least capable bike and hadn’t practiced as much. I feel bad thinking about it now because he didn’t bring enough water and we left him behind. I should have offered him water and I’ll go slower to keep him company next time. I know how sucky it feels to be left behind.
Few nice jumps at the end. Was scared to jump max because I didn’t know how the landings were.

But my body held up. Wasn’t sore after, still felt strong. No injuries. I felt like I was still up for more. And in fact I felt like riding again that night. But I resisted to let my body recover. I was in a high all day for the rest of the day.

Bike held up too. I absolutely thrashed it on that trail and it was fine.

sometimes when I climb on the pole I get a tingly feeling in my penis
how do you climb? Is your penis getting crushed between your body and the pole?
Then how do you climb?
like this (legs around pole)
your penis is a part of your body, things happen if you crush it against somethign
I get a tingly feeling… not all the time, but sometimes

be careful, and with your testicles too. Because my brother had an accident with his scrotum and a seesaw.
What is a scrotum?
it’s the skin around your testicles, like a bag
oh I know what you’re talking about — this (grabs shorts with hand)
why do the testicles hang like that?
because sperm needs to stay cool outside the body
what is sperm?
You need 2 parts to make a baby, the mommy part and the daddy part. The daddy part is the sperm and the mommy part is the egg inside the uterus. You don’t make it yet.
I know that.
But when you do, it collects in the testicles and it has to stay outside the body because it can’t live if it’s too hot.

mama went to library with j, brought home new books
J: Ah, there’s nothing I like more than a bag of books
J: You picked some really good books this time!

ran through sprinklers
stepped on poop

I aerated and overseeded the lawn this October. Seeds got pointed after about 2 days, tiny grass shoots started to peek out of the dirt in about 4-5 days, And after 2 weeks you can see grass tips everywhere. But some places grow faster than others.

manual trick wiggle bars
takes weight off side to side
and front to back to unweight front for wiggling

were they best friends? forever?
maybe not, because you’re not usually best friend with someone forever
then why do they say bff?
best friend forever
until you die
unless maybe you and j?
since you’ll be together forever
why not? who else do you play with more than her
(giggles) no one

Sep 20 hurricane irma
hurricane jose
180mph standing winds
no contact from abu v
abu j’s house will probably fly away

J: dad the dream catcher really works
I had a really fun dream
I dreamt I was I a donut like float; except it weighs outside if water
I was bouncing all over even outside of the house

J: made it to the top at pump it up climbing wall today
first kid I’ve seen
I said no kid has ever made it to the top
ring the bell

Mama: I miss my sister
she was always the first to call me on my birthday
she always woke me up

I had my worst “I’m losing my mind” moment earlier. I was patching my rear bike tire because it got a new puncture. Two days ago, I patched 2 holes that were side by side. Today, those 2 holes I patched ARE GONE. I marked two Xs with permanent marker and there were supposed to be patches over them. How did the 2 patches and 2 Xs disappear? I submerged it in water and I only found the new puncture, not the 2 side-by-side holes from 2 days ago.

It was a “snake bite” pinch flat. I know I patched it. I remember having trouble patching it because the holes were on either side of the tube.

Until now I am still getting the chills thinking about it. I checked and re-checked thinking “this cannot be… am I going mad?” I was checking over and over and was in the garage for 1 hour checking and re-checking. I even brought it into the house to ask mama if I was going mad but she was asleep while I was holding a bike tire over the bed. WTF!!!! I still don’t get it! For the first time in my life I have no explanation for something so simple. Either this world is fake or I have gone mad. I am so confused.

J I still feel like I don’t fit in with this family
mama well you’rethe only one who thinks that because we all love you
J really???
j I love you J!!
J whatever j…

Mama and I tried floating in raft high
staring at moon behind clouds
it was amazing
wind sounded like ocean in the trees
Kimi joined us too

Sep 6 j woke up growing pains behind knees

j: breasts are a private part
but nipples are not
I don’t have breasts so I can take my shirt off
later when I have breasts then I cannot take my shirt off

parenting sucks
I am spent. After not wanting to leave the school playground, they clearly state that they don’t want to go to BJJ, too tired. No snack, trick or bribe works. Ok, deal, go Thursday or stop going because this has happened too many times, ok. Get home, J wants his screen time, doesn’t want j to watch. Agrees to let her watch. j starts crying and is hiding under the table. J answers that he kicked her on the head after the show finished?!?!

J proceeds to spend the next 15 minutes saying bad things about himself and hurting/hitting himself. I use the tools from Dr. J. He refuses to even try and flat out states that they wouldn’t help. Finally tells me that he’s doing it because he thinks it’ll make j and me feel better. We tell him otherwise. He reluctantly accepts our answer says he won’t do anything else. Now he comes in saying he sprayed his pants with water again as punishment for his action. Probing further and he is just stuck answering “it just is”.

I’m drained, I’m sad and frustrated. Not sure on how to proceed. Parenting sucks.

I love you and I need a hug 🙁

J missing two front teeth + others
goofy smile
lost 4 teeth all in the same week

where you go Bernadette
wind up bird chronicles

j: it’s hard to say goodbye when they’ve stayed for so long
hanging on swing refusing to shower

J: I’m worried…
Me: about what
J: a mass extinction happening

extinction and evolution are kind of working together
because of extinction didn’t happen dinosaurs will still be around
we’re lucky extinction happened in the prehistoric period

J: I really like the bouncy thing. It makes my penis feel funny when I go up and down

J: I don’t think being a grown up is as fun as I think it is.

j learning to swim. Can float for a few seconds but not strong enough.
Also gasping not controlling breathing or holding breath
so inhaling water.
But she keeps wanting to try. She asks to take off the floats.

missing tooth
J: when I drink hot chocolate it slips back out

j asking me to read pointing at words I read them
started pointing at words phonetically

Mama: you know what J told me today? That he wanted to die just for 1 day. Not forever, but just for 1 day just to see what it was like and come back. Why do we such have a strange 6 year old.

Atlas backflip

RA Montgomery interview

This week in pictures
Little person
Little red hen make a pizza
Dancing bird

Exploding tire
Exploding tire

Interesting things
World’s greatest bartender
Marathon monks of Mount Hiei
Slime mold pathfinding
world record paper plane distance
Line rider mountain king
6 raft stack
I wonna be a trials rider show your failures
Steve Jobs iPhone presentation
Mike Tyson Cus number system
Crazy Chinese Smiths forge large flange
How to talk minnesotan
Yuja Wang interprets Mozart Alla Turca



P.S. I am still surprised my dad’s gone. I still get sad from time to time because many things remind me of him. I can’t stop thinking about death and how fragile life can be.

I love you.