It has been ten years since you're gone.
Never imagined I would be missing you everyday for ten years, but I guess I did. :) Ten years have passed, but the feeling of not having you around anymore is just as raw as it was ten years ago.
A lot has happened. A lot of milestones achieved in these ten years. I'm a little disappointed that you were not around to witness it, nor to taste the fruits of your labour. But that's the cards we were dealt with, right? So we live with it.
The supermarket business that you started more than twenty years ago has been making a lot of progress recently. Just last month, we had a ribbon-cutting ceremony for our first outlet outside of Sarawak. Mom told me that it has always been a dream of yours to expand into Sabah, and now that dream has come true. Ten years after you're gone.
Who would have thought, a tiny little home-grown business you started from absolute scratch with your barehands is now big enough to straddle two Malaysian states. Not bad for a local brand name. Not bad for a local brand name that some think is not "good enough" to compete with the major players from West Malaysia. Now we are starting to stand toe-to-toe against them.
I think kor kor deserved a lot of credit, for re-branding and refreshing a forty-year-old brand name and turning that uncool image around. I think you'll be so proud of his business acumen. It's more modernized and stylish now... although it still bears the ol' ching-chong name you gave. ;)
Compared to kor kor, the business I started may not be as large - but for a six-year-old business that was started from scratch I think not too bad also lah. Last September, I also had my little milestone when I expanded outside of Kuching. After a lot of hard work, I finally opened a small gym in the tiny town of Segamat, Johor. It's not something I had initially planned, but I got a really dedicated partner and I also wanted to see how good a mentor I can be. Perhaps it's because I have grown up, but I find that the process of helping people achieve their dreams more spiritually and emotionally fulfilling compared to just doing it for myself.
The only thing better than starting your own business, is helping other people start their own business, see them make money and grow. :)
Papa, all these are related to work. The biggest thing you missed in these ten years is my wedding.
On the 9th September 2014, Ming and I completed the third of our three wedding ceremonies. I prayed to you the day before. Even went as far as to wear the gold watch you left behind for the entire day of my wedding.
Of course, Ming and I's biggest regret is not to be able to serve you tea.
But we are doing good.
So now, after more than twenty years living underneath the roof you built, I have finally moved out to my own little place. Your little boy is finally becoming a man.
I'm glad I have finally found the person that I wanted to share the rest of my life with. Mom adores her... sometimes more than me. ;) And I feel just as accepted by her family. I think you would have really like her too.
I guess the next step now, is to start my own family, huh? If it happens, the only thing I hope is that I can be as good a father as you were to me.
The past ten years had not been easy at all. I had to deal with a lot of challenges thrown in my way. From dealing with the pain of your passing in 2006, finding my own feet in the business world in 2009, rising in the face of competition in 2013, to finally finding balance and achieving stability in 2015.
Too many obstacles I faced in this journey to adulthood. At the same time, I sense that the worst of the worsts is over.
Now I'm ready for a new chapter in my life.
From a young adult to a man. From being single to a husband. From a business start-up to a mentor.
With you watching from above, I think I'm gonna be able to get through this funny thing called 'Life'. :)
In the meantime, please take care. I know I've been owing you ten years of coffee, and counting.
Till we meet again,
Your youngest son.