When we first met Shirley, that was about 10 years ago in Toronto. The first impression that most of us had was “ Wow! What a charming pretty lady, Johnson must have spent a lot of time and effort chasing after this young lady.” After we knew her for a while, we found that she’s more than just a pretty charming lady. She was a very nice, energetic, courageous and helpful person. I remembered there was one time that we went for a 3-day trip to Boston and our car had a flat tire when we were heading to the hotel after dinner. It was around 9:00pm in the evening and all the auto shops were closed. We were helpless and I became almost hysterical and looked at my hubby, Alex and Johnson, but they all tried to escape from my eyesight. Finally, Shirley was very calm and said, ‘Maybe I’ll try to change the donut tire first, my dad had taught me that before’. So, with little help from the big guys, Shirley managed to change the donut tire, which enable us to drive one hour all the way to the hotel. That was a ‘huff and puff’ experience for us and we started saying” Wherever there is Shirley, there is hope!” Also, from that day onwards, I found out her expertise was not limited to changing tire, but she also knew how to fix computers, VCRs, ovens…She did not go to schools to learn all those, but only because she was always willing to learn and roll up her sleeves to help when there was a need. She was the only female friend that I knew with so many talents.
Shirley always had her own beliefs and uphold those which she thought were true. Her character was so strong and sure, very determined and firm. She always endeavored to overcome all the unfavorable conditions encountered. Yet on the other hand, she was very kind, pleasant, considerate and never known to slight or embarrass others. We used to say ‘wherever there is Shirley, there’s no sadness or boredom’. She was such a person who was very comfortable to get along with. We still cherish the days that we spent together in Toronto.
Later on, even though she left Toronto, we still kept in touch. I remembered when I had my first baby, she bought me this book called ‘Teach nanny how to take care of babies’, and I said ‘Hey I’m not a nanny, your present is wonderful, but not quite suitable’. But later on, I found that I used this book more than a dictionary because I guess moms are truly like nannies. She was that thoughtful and humorous. Every time when she came back to Toronto, she would not forget my girls, always bringing in presents for my angels. It is so sad and hard to let her go because I really want to share the happiness of motherhood with her. Today, I was looking at Shirley’s pictures with my girls, telling them about her adorable character, admiring how beautiful she was inside out, always have a smiling face whilst having a strong character, high EQ, AQ, SQ…lots of things that my girls had to learn from her.
Shirley, we think of you a lady with sincerity and sweetness; with kindness and generosity; with seriousness and frightened by nothing; with faith and good courage. Your passing will definitely mean some fine days are behind us, and that is worth our tears. We are left with the joyful hope you shared with your beloved ones. We look to that fine day when we will see you again, all weariness gone, smiling again, strong & sure and all the sorrow of your parting gone forever. For we’re all kept by God’s own loving hand.
May God bless Shirley Ko and the ones she loved.