My Dear Shirley:
I never thought that I would ever be saying what I am about to say now.
On 5 November, by a cruel twist of fate, you were taken away from this place suddenly. On 5 November, you left a beautiful baby girl named Carina, which I understand in Chinese, means someone who is kind-hearted and thoughtful, without a mother. On 5th November (6th in Hong Kong), my world came crashing down.
Ever since I first met you in HK in 1999 in the shuttle bus to our office building where you used to work with your previous employer TEMPLETON, I felt that somehow, in some magical way, you would make an excellent business colleague and that is why, as soon as you married and left for the US the following year, I offered you a directorship in the setting up of a new company in the US.
What followed were the many and numerous bsns trips we made together to such diverse countries as Dubai, Russia, Sri Lanka, Puerto Rico, Pakistan, Turkey, Krygyzstan, China and several more places. The hours and hours on different airlines, the v informative and interesting discussions we used to have (not to mention thougthful arguments) will never be forgotten.
Although there was a 17-year gap in our ages, you always told me that I looked like I was in my 30's and never made me feel old. Your care for my family and your sincere friendship was something I feel would be the envy of everyone.
You used to fight for me when my customers said my prices were high or complained that our deliveries were late. I have got so many messages of condolences from our Middle East clients who all say I lost someone who was in effect, not working for me but was part of the CADER family.
You were treated like family by my mother,brother,wife and children and you took great pains to always remember everyone's birthdays and send gifts each year.
My last trip with you to Russia can never be forgotten -- when you found that I was bored by seeing different paintings in a Moscow museum, you came and sat next to me and said that in return for going with you to the museum, we would go and see a more enlightening ABBA musical play the next day. Always reading my mind!!!!
When the unfortunate 9/11 incident took place in 2001, we were together in Miami and watched the whole thing LIVE on TV while having breakfast. And despite this world-shattering event taking place, your immediate concern was that we would be late in visiting our clients in Miami with whom we had bsns appointments later in the morning.
How work-conscious you always were, Dear Shirley.
Remember when I was taken sick in Karachi (Pakistan) and you went out at night to look for a pharmacy to get me medicine??? How can I forget all this, Shirley??
Knowing I have a bad back, you never let me carry heavy things and even got so angry at me when I picked up a suitcase on my own.
Your parents told me that they were v happy that you could come to HK 5-6 times a year because they could see their daughter so often. I say to them -- I was so lucky that I could see Shirley 5-6 times a year!!!
And, everytime you came to HK, you would come with me to visit my father's grave in the Happy Valley Muslim Cemetery. You would cry and pray to my Dad to make your life happy in all aspects. How can I ever forget that??
You became such a strong advocate of my Muslim religion -- gave up pork, drank no alcohol, went to my mother to start teaching you all about our religion.
Shirley, all these experiences are only from me. I am sure your other friends and family members will have equally thoughtful remembrances of you. And so they should!!!
Miss you, Dear Shirley. May your soul be at eternal peace in Heaven.
SEE-FOO (your nickname for me)