Thursday, February 28, 2013

Step Grandmother aka Say Bo's 100th birthday

Sister Elizabeth gives a love gift/ hongbao to Say Bo.

The descendents of Father John Chan Hiu Fei above, all the family of Say Bo below.

In August 2012, Say Bo celebrated her 100th birthday. What a blessing. I wasn't in Sibu because I was in New Zealand.

I say it is a blessing, because back in 1968, Say Bo almost didn't make it.

Say Bo had kidney stones on both her kidneys. She went up to Kapit with 4th Aunt Yok Ing. Kapit is a small town up river, a day’s motor launch trip away.  This surgeon agreed to operate on the bigger stone first, but there was no blood bank. 
The Chinese at that time did not believe in donating blood, it must be some sort of Feng Shui beliefs. They believed that part of the donor’s aura will be passed to the recipient and hence affect his wellbeing.
In 1977, I told 3rd Aunty Siew Ying that I donated blood in Canada and continued to do so in Sarawak, she scolded me.
To get blood then, one has to find an agent who would find someone willing to “donate” blood for a fee. In Say Bo’s case, he found two trishaw cyclists. We had to pay for their return fares from Sibu to Kapit, their hotel rates, food and a “small” token of appreciation. This small token was by no means small; it was about a hundred dollars per pint.  One of the “donors” was a seasoned old hand, but the other was a novice.
Before this novice went to face the music, he went to see Say Bo.
He said, “Grand Ma, I am doing this for you.” He was very frightened as he was very pale and holding onto Say Bo’s hands tightly.
The surgery was a success but it left her very weak. She came to out house to recuperate.

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