Tuesday, 13 September 2005

* Dad ~ part one *

Today, mum and I went to Fairy Park. It is a private cemetery and columbarium near my home. It’s a mix of the Christians and Chinese religious sects. It is where my father’s ashes are, in the small chapel. Well cared grounds with tombstones of similar designs line the borders of the wide roads, uniformly arranged neatly in rows and rows upon the hillsides creating a tidy garden.

Large standing Buddhas on lotus base; dressed in orange robes and hands in front, one open palm facing up while the other held straight above it with fingers pointing upwards. You will find multiple statues of them along the borders of the grave sites of the Chinese sects. Statues of angels in white robes, half kneeling whilst holding a cross, border the Christian side.

Two peacock heads rise above a flower bed on your right, welcome you as you drive through the main entrance which is a miniature great wall, designed with long ago mighty Chinese warriors in their armours standing at the sides of the wall. Pass the wall, you’ll follow the trail of Buddhas standing along the road. To get to the chapel, you will pass the beautifully kept and neat rows and rows of tombs on your right.

On your left, is a man made cave with a pond in front. It is a mini museum of the Chinese ancestral gods and their history. Figures of the famous animal gods are seen among the foliage surrounding the pond. Adding yet, to another tale of ancient and religious beliefs.

Continue onwards, you’ll see a little chapel with a blue roof and a cross on its steeple. This area, you will find angels along the way as it lines the Christian tombs on your left. Some mausoleums span the upper part of one section giving it a surreal feeling. As we parked in front of one angel….it is all quiet except for the soothing chants coming through the speakers under the statues. Gathering the flowers and tea lights, we walk into the chapel.

As I prepared the table and tea light holders while mum did the flowers; the caretaker appeared. He apologizes for not having seen us earlier and helps with what’s left to do. Then he goes off to sit at the entrance while we say our prayers. As usual, I finished before mum and wandered to check out the ‘newcomers’.

When dad died, these guys from Fairy Park, brought us here to pick a spot for dad. We decided to get a double and picked one at the exact center of that block. D3 is his spot number. It was by coincidence when we later realised the number 3 because that is our parent’s house number.

He is now surrounded by many others and I tell him he must be having a good time as he has ladies on both his sides! *smile*. The chapel is air conditioned and they play Christian tunes softly to create a soothing atmosphere. It works as I don’t feel scared or creeped out each time I go there. Very peaceful feeling…

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