Our order from Ikea arrived today. This is my first time receiving something from Ikea, so the suaku (Hokkien for Mountain Tortoise aka hill billy) me was surprised to see the furniture arriving unassembled. The man who delivered the boxes then explained to me that he will assemble everything in the house.
The next thing that happened surprised me too.
I found out later that he has been doing this for the last 15 years. Of course he is fast. But what amazes me is how he is a one-man-show, doing everything without help. Two thumbs up for him!
Initially, I left the uncle to fix up everything while I did my own things. Then I heard him answer a call, and speaking in mandarin, he was talking about someone being diagnosed with cancer. The busybody in me decided to ask him.
Through our conversation, I learnt that his wife has been unwell on and off since the 1990s, and just today, they found out that she has cancer. I asked him how he was taking the news and he said that he’s okay. He said, at least he now knows why his wife has been unwell. He said that his children would probably be more affected by the diagnosis than him. Later, he shared that he has 5 children, and that his philosophy in life is to accept whatever comes.
I felt for him because I didn’t take my dad’s diagnosis of cancer well at all when we first found out about it. I wondered how he could still focus on what he was doing and offered to help with the furniture. He rejected my offer and said he didn’t need help.
We ended up having a good chat while he was fixing up my furniture. Having heard his story about how people would reject him because of his age (he is in his early 50s) when he tries to look for new work, I told him that it is their loss because he is really good at what he does. I wanted to encourage and compliment him, letting him know that I appreciated his work and that he is a good man. The whole time we chatted, he smiled while hammering away. I wouldn’t have guessed that this man just got news about his wife’s cancer if I hadn’t heard his conversation on the phone.
Once again, this man amazed me, this time with his attitude towards what happens to him in life. As he was packing up, I offered to pray for him and he told me that two of his children are also Christians, and that he will leave it to his children to pray. So I told him that I will pray for him in my own time. He smiled and thanked me.
As he was leaving, I told him again that he is a very good man and a good father, and I was glad to have had him do my furniture. He smiled shyly and left.
Thank you for sharing with me, Mr Lim. I will be praying for you and your family, especially your wife.