The Wisest Man on Earth – a Eulogy, a Celebration.

9.04 PM on Monday – I got the word that he passed away. A father, grandfather, husband – the wisest man on the world just passed away, taking the smile of hundreds with him, if but for a second. This is for the man that I had known my whole life as a grandfather – Tong Tek Tjong. As I watched the rain fell on Monday morning, my mind wanders to memories of him. I just received a call that he was admitted to the hospital, and that he might not make it through the night. “Let's just hope for a miracle,” my father uttered to me. Yet, the only thing I can think of was “How fitting.” I thought that the rain would be fitting for days as such; it was not a premonition, merely a thought. The night, he left, and the sky kept shedding tears – How fitting. As much as there's sadness, there's much more celebration. For the longest time I knew him, he was a successful man – an entrepreneur, and a wonderful businessman. He had not always been so, however, he started as a nothing from China. If there's one thing he had always been, it's that he had always been strong, he had always been persistent. He arrived in Indonesia many years ago – when he was in his teen – with only an Indonesian newspaper in his hand. He learned Indonesian language, met my grandma, got married, and started his business selling Popsicle. From there, he thread his way up to fabrics, then to be one of the founder of Tompotika Raya in Ujung Pandang. When the company went through hard times and almost went under, he stayed on the boat, kept his share strong, and kept it going as much as they can – his persistence paid off, the company not only survived, but also thrived – and so he rose. The man had traveled the world, and my sister had been a testament to that. She accompanied him and my grandma to places unimaginable when you're from Ujung Pandang. The States, Australia, China, Japan – are among some that they went to. As far as I can remember, he had always been an avid traveler – a throwback on his journey from china to Indonesia, perhaps. And so, aside from his success, he had seen the world, and cherished life as he saw fit – with his wife, and his grand kids. The man passed away at the age of 79, an age when most people live on a borrowed time. Yet, despite the small time he had left, he had something that we who had many years to live were lacking. He had something, that I, as a 22 years old envied – stories, battles won, and happines. Over 79 years of his life, he had fought hard battles, he lived a life unthinkable by the standard of the time, and lived bigger than I could ever imagined myself to be. How very much inspiring. I couldn't help but to imagine, that before his last breath, the man would smile, and said “I'll see you again” to my grandma. So let this be said: this is a celebration of life, the life of Tong Tek Tjong. I am sure, that as happy as he is to see us crying over his death, he would be much much happier seeing us cherishing his, and our own, life. So in the tradition of our family, I rise my glass to his life. Gan Bei!