My Grandma!

I grew up spending my whole childhood in the loving care of Grandma. She sowed love, kindness, compassion, patience and simplicity in me.

Grandma in my mind…

It was when we lived in a wooden cottage situated in the middle of a persimmon valley at the end of a muddy potholed slope.

Our day started by hiking up to the main road for grocery shopping

Then we went to Grandma’s friends for some chitchats, where I would get some sweets and feel like the luckiest girl in the world.

Grandma cooked for us every meal

Grandma didn’t let me help, all she wanted was me sitting there, telling her about what I saw that day.

Like other kids, I was naughty and curious about everything, I followed my cousins and our peers trespassing the neighbours’ garden, picking unripen fruits for fun, disturbing the animals and sometime ended up being hauled off to Grandma’s house by an angry neighbour

Grandma never laid a finger on me, she always protected me from corporal punishment by Grandpa for my misbehaviour.

Bathroom was a luxury thing that we didn’t have in the house

Grandma gave me a “swimming pool” instead, in a 4-time-bigger-than-me bucket, which she put it near the kitchen so she could watch me shower and play while she was busy preparing dinner

It was always my favourite activity at the end of the day with Grandma.

Grandma didn’t know any folk tale; Grandma’s childhood was all about surviving the wartime

Every night, Grandma’s bedtime story was her journey of running away from the enemy soldiers who came to destroy her already-devastated village, and how she took all her nine children to flee to this peaceful valley far away from her birthplace

As a kid, I didn’t feel the pain in her words, I took it inherently as every person in life needed to go thru suffering to achieve peace and happiness.

Grandma in my mind…

It was when I moved back to my parents’ house in a downtown for school, Grandma came along to take care of me during my first schoolyear.

Our day then started by slurping white porridge in early shivering mornings and Grandma walking me to school

30 minutes before school dismissal time, Grandma would always be there next to the window close to my table

Grandma walked slowly I skip-jumped by her side, telling her every event of my day: what I learned, who befriended me, which boy I beat (some boys deserved that cos they were annoying), …

Grandma always had my back in everything.

My parents got few complaints from my teacher about me bullying boys and once cheating on an exam; they threatened to send me to the police or even worse, disown me

Grandma believed in second chance and always forgave me for those misbehaviours.

Snacking was a “rich-kid” thing, I was aware of our family condition so I didn’t jones for it

Grandma would once in a while surprise me with a fried rice paper or just one small mint candy on my desk, it would make all my day.

Grandma sowed the seeds of reading habit in me

Grandma bought me the first comic book, Detective Conan volume 23, ever in my life.

Grandma in my mind…

It was our first trip ever, visiting her birthplace

Grandma proudly introduced her grandchildren to her family members for the first time

Grandma was happy and emotional to see her village, which then had become a small town.

Grandma loved the beach, we went to the beach close by whenever we got chance

Grandma was really happy.

Grandma in my mind…

It was on the returning of the trip, Grandma tripped and broke her leg

Grandma wasn’t able to be mobile ever since

Grandma became sad

Grandpa passed away not so long after the incident

Grandma turned into a pessimistic person

To cheer Grandma up, we took turn to have Grandma stay over for 2 months in each of her children’s house

This way made her feel like she was still traveling and seeing life

Grandma in my mind…

It was before Grandma got hospitalized

I was on a school break coming back from China

I didn’t know that I had only 10 days with her, I wish I could have known…

I went to visit her four times, updating her on my current life

Grandma was happy to see me, she asked again when I would bring someone along to present to her

I laughed and asked her to be more patient, she would live to see my babies even.

Grandma in my mind…

It was before she went into a coma and never awoke

3 days after my last visit, Grandma was hospitalized diagnosed that her intestine was damaged and needed surgery

Grandma went thru surgery, not to fix her intestine but pull it out instead

When we were allowed to see her after the surgery

Grandma was still conscious which caused her pain and misery

We cried and Grandma cried too

Grandma went into a coma few days later and never awoke…

It was on 22 March 2017 that she let go of this life returning to Buddha as she believed in him.

For the person who I am today, it is dedicated to Grandma, to her love and care.

May Grandma rest in peace!

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