Por Yai, a great man.

Por Yai with Ariya, taken 6 weeks ago.

Por Yai with Ariya, taken 6 weeks ago.

Por Yai means Grandpa which is what my kids called my father in Law. 78 years old, a very wise and extremely well respected old man. No gambling, no alcohol, a man of strict buddhist values.
Since I first met him I have loved watching him hold court downstairs every evening around the fire. Men from all around the village would drop by for a few minutes or for hours. The would talk late into the evening, stoking the fire occasionally, telling yarns, catching up on gossip and solving the problems of the small part of the word that they existed in. In the morning he would coax the fire into life a full hour before dawn even thought about breaking and sit by himself waiting for the village to come to life.
During the day he would walk up the road to visit his daughter and her shop. He would construct small thatched roofs to store hay under. He would baby sit his grand kids so the parents could go to work. He would go hunting for bush tucker, visit friends or take a nap under the house listening to the radio. Weekends were looked forward to as friends from all around would join him in front of the TV watching Thai kick boxing.
He has five daughters, each one a credit to the great father that he was.
He lost his wife 30 years ago after giving birth to his only son which died just hours before she did.
He had never travelled further then Ubon, 101 kms away. Never seen the beach, a mountain range, snow etc but he didn’t want to (we tried) He knew were he belonged and he was happy with his lot. We could all learn a lot from that philosophy in life.

My cousin Fran visited here last year and met Por Yai. She sent me a message last night which made me cry. Part of what she said was “Even though I never understood him, he was a man of wisdom, prestige and had a great sense of calm. What an honourable man that you shared your life with. And he was able to spend a lot of time with your daughters – which wouldnt have happened if you stayed in NZ. That is very special.”

The saddest thing coming home last night was seeing his little spot where he was always sitting around his fire. That fire was now extinguished, I guess for ever.

I love you Por Yai, you were a great man who raised the most perfect daughter in all the world, my wife.

15 Responses to Por Yai, a great man.

  1. Sorry to hear about the passng of Por Ya, there are some truly great Tha old folks lots have passed on , but few are stll here , I have made a pont of seekng them out and havng Cejay help me as I ask about the old tmes n the vllages and the LOS.
    My mother -n -law Sa was such a person as Por Ya , she rased her famly as a strct Buddsh and taught them rght from wrong and to love much and gve of yourself to others n need . I only got to know her for one year before she passed , but every tme we got together t was an experence not just a vst . My father-n -law was a school teacher , and a strct dscplnaran, and all eght of ther kds , plus all the grand-kds they rased are a testmony of love and dscplne and the results are evdent n the lves of all of them.
    I enjoyed your post and the read , t’s been a whle snce I’ve notced a comment from you over n Retred n Thaland and Lovng It , maybe you’ve been busy , gve me a read sometme and leave a comment f you care to . Malcolm

  2. We are so sorry for your loss. What a blessng that you were able to spend tme wth hm and the kds got to know hm and love hm n hs hometown. Beautful post and trbute.

  3. That s such a beautful photo of Arya wth her Por Ya. A wonderful keepsake.

  4. Very, very touchng post that s only eclpsed by the wonderful, vbrant photograph of Por Ya and Arya at the top of your page. Goodbye to a great man but he leaves hs legacy n the youth of your famly. A well wrtten and touchng trbute that pays homage to someone who meant the world to you.

  5. Seerung, Andrew and grls
    I dd not ever have the prvaledge of meetng your father Seerung, but I have been lucky enough to see the legacy of hs lfe and teachng n you. I’m sure that he wll stll be watchng over you are your famly, content that he has passed on and guded you to be the person that you have become and someone that wll contnue hs legacy. My heart goes to all the famly at such a sad tme.

  6. Andrew, Seerung and famly, I have never met you, other than through our blogs. I am so sorry for your loss and Noot and I send our deepest sympathy to you all.

    We have just spent a few days wth Noot’s amazng grandfather, I just blogged about our trp there before readng ths.

    Agan we are so sorry for the loss of a good man. Sounds lke you have many good memores of hm though to cheersh.

    Jason and Noot

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  8. My condolences for your famly’s loss. What a great trbute you pant for your late father-n-law.

    (droppng by va Beyond the Mango Juce’s monthly revew, btw)


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  11. It has been sad (and I beleve) that “Nature gves you the face you have at twenty. Lfe shapes the face you have at thrty.
    But at ffty you get the face you deserve.”
    It stands to reason that ths would apply even more at age 78.
    Your father n law had a great face.

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