Friday, February 10, 2012
Ming and I spent a great deal of time together both kids and adults.
As a kid, I always spent my summers at Ming’s parents. Mrs. Kwok was always quick to use the extra hands to mow the lawn, clean the house, help with the cooking – Ming was always quick to teach me the fastest yet most effective way to do each task.
I remember one summer Ming was a paperboy… I actually think it only lasted a couple of days; Ming hated working for “the Man” even back then. Now, I don’t recall the child labour laws back then but I was only seven or eight when Ming got me to tag along. A Toronto Star van would pick us up and drop off each kid in a designated paper delivery area. The van driver said whoever could deliver the most papers would get a prize at the end of the day. Ming as we all know him, devised a plan for us to split up and cover more area – it probably wasn’t the safest for a seven year old boy but by the end of the day, Ming and I ended up winning the prize: a Toronto Star ruler that had a calculator and time on it.
It was one of the first things that I truly earned in my life – I think I still have the calculator at my parent’s house.
Ming was always an opportunist.
When Ming found me with a huge bag of marbles that I told him I won them from kids at school. In typical Ming fashion, he took me to where he knew kids played marbles. “Lose the first couple of games” he told me, “make him feel good.” Ming then enticed the kid to play double or nothing and when the kid say, “ok.” Ming told me to beat him. Even as kids, we learned how to hustle.
To take it a step further, not only did we win all the marbles, we sold them back to the kids to buy candy and pop at the corner store.
But the thing I remember most as kids was one particular fall day. We played road hockey. With all the kids 3-5 years older then me, I always got the shaft and had to play goalie. We didn’t have money back than so we had to take Ming’s moms couch cushion and duck tape them around my legs and used a BMX bike helmet, two sizes too big as a goalie mask. The other goalie had all the official gear: road hockey pads, mask, trapper, blocker and even a goalie stick – We were lucky to have hockey stick that wasn’t nailed together with two different pieces of wood.
I remember playing my heart out that day and stopped every shot that came. We won the road hockey game and it was in large part due to my contribution.
That night, Ming praised me for how good I played and we dreamed and laughed about how fun the day was.
Ming then grabbed a small white plastic suitcase and put $5 in it. “Whatever money we earn or get, we’ll put it into this suitcase and save up for goalie pads.” That’s the kind of person Ming was, even as a kid, he always knew you could attain so much more when you do things together. That’s the way Ming and I always lived.
While Ming was very pragmatic about everything he did, he always supported everyone in following their dreams. Ming did whatever he could to help.
A big part of me was lost when Ming died but I know he’s given me more then enough to walk tall in this world. Ming may have died much too soon but he lived more then 10 lifetimes worth of experiences. You’ll be in my steps forever bro.