Sometime in the 1960s, Kota Kinabalu-born Daniel and Perak-girl Suzy became pen-pals. This is back in those days where people used a pen to write letters on paper. When mailboxes were tangible red boxes by the side of the road. When letters took more than a second to get to the recipient.
One or both of them must be very poetic because love soon blossomed across the South China Sea. Soon after his graduation in Sydney, Daniel married Suzy in 1971 and they made their home in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah.
They had three boys: Jeffrey, Jason & Julian. (“They wanted a daughter but ended up with 3 boys,” Julian said) Raised the boys in a good ol’ fashioned way, “Mom was even more strict than dad because she was the one carrying the rotan! Maybe the traits of a former teacher?”
Daniel was the director of the State Department of Irrigation and Drainage before he retired. Suzy is and has always been the “Minister of Her Home Affairs”, she takes care of the family and their home and makes sure there is delicious food on the table everyday.
The boys are all grown now – they’ve got their own families and they’re all living in Kota Kinabalu. Although Julian will be relocating to Kuala Lumpur this weekend after a massive promotion at work. Daniel and Suzy finally did have the girl they wanted – five actually. Five granddaughters and three grandsons!
And although they were strict parents, Daniel and Suzy seem to be thoroughly enjoying their new roles as grandparents. “Being grandparents has totally changed them! Our kids get spoilt,” youngest son Julian claims.
“But our parents have always been supportive of us. My dad still takes care of our well-being even now when we encounter ‘road blocks’ or challenges along the way. My mom was the confinement lady for most of her grandchildren,” he said.
On a typical weekend, everyone is at Daniel & Suzy’s: the three boys, their wives and their kids.
To think – all this started from snail mail…