A spark of curiosity ignited in me back in 2016 when visiting my family in Malaysia. It dawned on me that I had to ask all the questions that I needed before it was too late. My “Ah Gong” (grandfather on my dad’s side) was very excited to tell the tale of how our family ended up in Malaysia. He was quick to explain the history of the family businesses over the years.
What I was more interested in though, was how he met my “Ah Mah”. When Ah Gong realized this, he grew a bit shy so he let Ah Mah tell this one. Ah Mah explained that back in the day, love and marriage was not the same as it is now. But while things were different, they were both given the opportunity to get to know one another before saying their “I do’s”. Images began to fill my mind as she told their story. They went on several dates and Ah Gong would come pick her up in his car to go to the movies. These were no ordinary dates though. All of Ah Mah’s younger siblings got to tag along! I guess this was my great-grandparents’ way of saying “No funny business!”. 6 months later, they got married.
While Ah Gong was hesitant about sharing their love story in words, he had a better way that he showed his love & care for these memories. He pulled out a cookie tin filled with little black & white photographs from their wedding day and we flipped through them as a family. I lifted little cards of black & white images out of the tin, most of them had a white border and as I looked at each photo, a feeling of nostalgia filled the air. Some images were portraits, some documentary candids of moments during their ceremony. Some images were slightly discoloured over the years with a tint of brown and faded along the edges.
On our final visiting day that year, as our car backed out of the driveway, I took this photo. At the moment I couldn’t help but wonder if this was the last time I’d see my grandparents. Being an ocean away from them meant that we only visit every few years. Little did I know that this was the last time I’d gotten to speak with my Ah Mah. She passed away 2 years later. These pictures mean so much and even more so now that she is not here and I’m so glad that I got to ask all the questions that I had when I had the chance.
JMESHOOTS | BURNABY WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER
My name is Jamie and I have been documenting the lives of couples and families over the last 9 years. Getting married? I’d love to learn more.