I’ve been trying to write this for a long time now. Trying to find the most beautiful, perfect way to write about someone who was so special to me. And as I type the word “special,” I feel sick to my stomach for not being a better writer. Because a better writer could conjure up an infinitely better word, an infinitely better way to describe my grandmother than … special.
A few weeks ago, my grandmother passed away at the age of 92. For 30 of those years, she lived with my parents. For 26 of those years, we lived together. It seems these days that those of us who do not have parents that are divorced are few and far between. I guess you could say then that I’m pretty darn blessed to have had three parents.
Granny, thank you for being my mother. For packing my lunches every day. For packing my American lunches, the plain old peanut butter and jelly sandwiches you didn’t understand but packed anyway so the kids at school would stop making fun of me at the lunch tables.
Oh, and hey, thanks for all those tears on my wedding day just as I was about to walk down the aisle. Remember how I had to patch up my
professionally expensively done makeup with my trembling hands and bleary eyes, just minutes before showtime? Touché.
My grandmother used to always say that she never knew her parent’s love. The way she tossed that around in passing would have you believe she was just using a figure of speech or something. But truthfully, she was sold at a young age back in Taiwan to different parents because hers were too poor to raise her. Despite a “bumpy” beginning, my dear old granny still had all the love in the world for her five children, their husbands and wives, nine grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren.
Granny, you are a piece of me as I am a piece of you. I know now what you gave me. And I hope… I hope… I gave it back to you. And though your mother couldn’t keep you, I will always keep you. Here in my heart.
Wo hao xiang ni, Ama.