” 无论你遇见谁，他都是在你生命中该出现的人。没有人是因为偶然才进入我们的生命。每个在我们周围和我们有互动的人，都代表一些事。也许要教会我们什么，也许要协助我们改善眼前的一个情况。” —Buddha
One Sunday evening in 2008, Nicholas Liew, who was eleven years old then, was working hard on his butterfly stroke at the 6 feet deep lane when he saw an elderly man resting at a corner of the pool.
Swimming up to his side, my curious son asked, “Uncle, you came alone?”
“Yes,” came the answer.
“I came with my family. They are over there – at the 18 feet deep lane,” he said and pointed towards our direction.
“Then why did you left them and came over to this lane?”
“It is rather crowded there. I want to practice my butterfly stroke and over here, I have more space to do so.”
“Uncle, how about a race? You can choose any style you like.”
But the young boy, confident as he was, lost to the more experience older swimmer.
Although Nicholas Liew lost the race that evening at the Chin Woo Swimming Pool, unknown to him then, he has won a friendship that in later years, proved to be very rare and precious not only for him alone, but for his entire family as well.
You see, Uncle Kelvin Li is not any ordinary old man. He is a respected Sinologist.
Months later, Alexandra Alex too, swam over to his side and instantly captured his heart with her wits and charm.
From then on, a very beautiful friendship blossomed between the three of them. It was a friendship that grew from a tiny seed into a large tree that gives us shade.
He quickly took my children under his wings. Sometimes he would call them up in the middle of a meeting, during a meal or on a trip, and tell them some Chinese idioms and values. “I give you ten minutes to memorize them and then I will call back to explain their meanings. Later, I will test you both!” This was his usual style. He even got them to study the Tung Sing or Chinese Almanac!
When Uncle could afford the time, he would come personally to the house to supervise their learning of the Chinese language. All this was done without asking for anything in return. It was out of pure love for them, a sort of love only a grandfather would give to his grandchildren.
“You are such a banana, Frances, that I have to neutralize your children for you. I hope you don’t mind,” he joked to me once.
When I told him that I wanted to write a book, he said, “Good, go ahead, what are you waiting for? Live your dreams! Don’t let anyone pull you down.”
That was Uncle Kelvin Li, a stranger turned friend and mentor.
My family is very lucky to have him in our lives. He gave us something so precious all the money in this world could not buy us – great memories to remember him by in years to come.
The Chinese calls it “Yuen Fun.” I call it “my family’s collective good Karma.”
Uncle slipped and fell in his garden on Wednesday morning while watering his plants, went into a deep coma and did not wake up again. He will be 76 this year.
Of course we will be there to send him off on his final journey on this coming Sunday.
Thank you, Uncle, for everything you had given us.
” 已经结束的，就已经结束了。这是如此简单。当生命中有些事情结束，它会帮助我们进化。要完整享受已然发生的事，最好是放下并持续前进。你坐在这里，读着这些 文字，我相信绝非巧合。 如果这些文字触动你的心弦，那是因为你的因缘成熟。你明白，没有任何一片雪花会因为意外落在错的地方。” — Buddha