I’ve always liked the old Bee Gees’s song “First of May”.

I first heard it as a small boy. “When I was small and Christmas trees were tall …”

My father was then about my age today.

Last weekend, on 2nd May, he would have turned 84. He passed away six months ago. In that short time, he missed many global events like Barack Obama and the GFC. He missed many national events like the passing of his elder brother and the ascendency of the new PM. Many more such events will pass him by. We all miss him. We miss his opinions on current affairs. And of course his laughter, smile and twinkle in his eyes.

My papa used to joke that the public holiday on 1st May was to celebrate his birthday the next day. He always used to have a party to celebrate his birthday. It was not because he felt this day was such a momentous day, but rather it was his way of “giving” to his friends and relatives. He loved parties. He loved bringing people together. He loved playing host.

Tun Mahathir had this to say in his blog: “He lived life fully. I do not think we will find people like him any more … I feel much saddened by his passing. I have lost a good and loyal friend”. Tun Mahathir used to come to almost all my papa’s Hari Raya parties and my father, in turn, regarded him as a true and loyal friend. Such friendship is a rare and special thing.

My Papa and I, supervising the construction of our new rock garden (1978)

My father was a very generous man. Not just in money but in spirit. He was always very positive and never had a negative thing to say about anyone … even those he knew had cheated him. What a guy …

Of course, like all people, my father had his weaknesses … but with my papa, it only added to his playboy charm!

I will always liked that Bee Gees’s song.

It’s a sentimental number and, with its simple tune, I used to sing it to my children when they were babies.

It appropriately ends with … “Guess who’ll cry, come First of May.”