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Unexpected (Terrifying)

One thing I’ve had difficulty coming to terms with is you can’t stop people from coming and going. Eventually, everyone you know and love will meet the same fate. Those pearly gates above and the light on top sounds the best most confronting conclusion to ones life — however extraordinary. What a crazy thing to believe. Yet, in times of destress, it allures everyone. My grandma is not well — not the least bit and while we may have some of the best doctors assisting her in the battle against cancer, I’m scared — terrified as she is.

I’ve had too many thoughts in my mind the past couple days. Questions to myself and motives mainly. Did I see her enough? Was I the model grandson? How well will the surgery go? Why me? And most frequently, “Why us?” In the moments my aunt told me the prognosis, I felt every heart string pulled at full tension. Disbelief as I utter to her, “Are you serious?” As quickly as surprise and disbelief came, my grief came faster and with heavy emotions.

I teared up. My aunt could see my face turn pale. The words from her stung like that of the never ending torn in an otherwise field of roses. Time became still. I could not hold back and so I walked away and into the backyard. I cried so hard as the tears cascaded down more and more. I did not take the news very well to say the least. To love is not just to say the four letter word. How much grief you have says a thousand more.

We are all hurting and with heavy heart. This is it.

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02/14/2020

My beloved Grandma has cancer. Words cannot describe how devastated I feel — so I won’t. Fuck today.

My light has never burned so dim.

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Not By My Watch

My Grandma was going to be home alone on Thanksgiving. Not by my watch she is. It never ceases to amaze me how some people can be so inconsiderate — especially at this time of the year.

Be thankful. Remain humble. Always do the right thing.

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To Love & Be Loved

This is my Grandma in the kitchen. I’m always amazed at her love and affection. The kitchen and cooking is all she really knows. She grew up in the countryside in China without any formal education all her life. She loves to cook and is excited I’m here to eat with her. Words cannot express my love and gratitude for her.

Her reality is different. She’s very superstitious, is vocal about her beliefs, and misses everyone. Growing up, I knew she had a lot of joy cooking breakfast for me or the celebratory dinners she single handedly made for Chinese New Year. She wishes we all can come together more often, but everyone lives separate lives with their busy schedules.

She usually listens to no one except me. She repeats herself constantly, but she just likes talking as much as I do. She gets shorter every year and her hair gets grey. I can say I get my skinny body from her. She’s in her 70s and doesn’t look to be slowing down any time soon. She rambles on and on about the good old days — reminiscing about the simpler times when I was just five and her only concern was if I was fed. I’ll never forget that about her and hope I never will.

I missed her then and I miss her now. Sometimes all it takes for someone to come out of their shell is just a visit — one I’ve been needing to do the past few months. To love and be loved is one of the best feelings there is. Knowing she’s around and has been such a fixture in my upbringing makes all the troubles life carries disappear. I’ve stopped to smell the roses. She is my grandma and I love her.

I’m killing it with the new Grandma slippers. Coming soon to a Saks near you.

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Love, Redemption and Regret

img_0096I’m guilty of not making more time to see my beloved Grandma. She’s the only grandma I’ve ever known actually. My Dad’s side of the family is all I’ve ever known or seen all my life. This year especially, I’ve been far too busy with work to pay her a visit and it’s terrible to know she misses me. I give her a call every lunch break to check in on her and she usually asks if I’m intruding — even though I’m the one who called. She’s far too forgiving for how hectic I am this time of the year. She’s alone by herself, which to some — is fine, but I know it isn’t. A women in her mid-70s should not be left alone to housesit — it’s not right.

I love her dearly. She’s been through a lot and truthfully won’t listen to a word from anyone except from me — much to everyone’s dismay. There’s a saying in Chinese along the lines of, “you’re finding money to eat.” It’s used when work overtakes making time for family, because the ends justify the means. Focusing on work means having money and focusing on your career. Family comes second in that regard. I’ve never been too fond of it.

Years ago, my only goal was to impress her and her only wish was I graduate college. So I did. I gave a fuck and somehow managed to be the top of my class and transfer to UC Santa Barbara. Part of me thinks that was all a fluke and I lucked out, but I know that couldn’t be further from the truth. When she came to see me graduate, her eyes teared up, voice crackled, and told me just one sentence, “your grandpa would be proud”. I absolutely lost it and cried in front of her. I redeemed myself — found salvation for all those years of not being anybody. Most of my professors have asked me during office hours if I was a A student before SB and I laughed all the time. The look in their eyes as I explained I was a college dropout, how I was failing every class at community college at one point, and how I was only here to impress my Grandma. It makes for an interesting discussion, but I would not be where I am if it weren’t for her.

Sunday, I’ll have time to pay her a visit. I’ll take her to dim sum and have a date with my Grandma. I know she’s excited. I am too. If there was only two of me.

Later world.