Posts Tagged ‘grandpa’

Faded like your name on those jeans that I burned

My mom along with my aunt and uncles had cleaned out the last of what was inside my late grandpa's house for a good part of the month. After years of holding onto the property, they decided to sell the place. Within the next few days, they'll be handing the keys and what was left of their childhood home over to a buyer whom we know very little of. I stopped by earlier this month to collect what was left of my grandpa's estate: expensive dishes and Chinese memorabilia that he had collected over time, and shared a box of chicken with the family over lunch that acted as a final farewell to a place that we all grew up in.

Moments like these seem to constantly remind myself of my increasing vulnerability the older I get, and the realization that not only things, but even moments won’t last forever. These experiences, born from these moments are what we should be holding onto, or so says the advice we’re given throughout our youth. But after a while, I sometimes question whether there is much value in these things beyond reflecting upon those “good ol’ days.”

It’s been a challenge personally to grasp the amount of change that has been going on in my life recently. Despite the numerous relationships and connections that I still maintain – and am forever grateful for – there is still a sense of loneliness that I feel as I continue on this journey of trying to reconcile these changes.

Posted: November 29th, 2017
Categories: Life
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Stop this train

I remember that night well.

I was still at work, trying to get through the last hour before heading out when I got the call that my grandpa was not going to make it that night. For the past couple of years, he was battling Leukemia and had suffered an infection a few days ago. As a family we gathered around him and spoke to him, despite the fact that he had slipped into a deep coma. After a while, we decided to leave for a quick dinner in hopes that when we come back later that night he would still be there. We got the call as we were about to leave that he had left us.

This morning we had a beautiful ceremony for him, and as tragic as the night he died was, my mood was different today. Leading up to the funeral, we all got a chance to look at photographs of him throughout the decades. A healthier, more vibrant him complete with some of his grandchildren and my uncles awesome 80s mustaches. He was there in Vegas. We saw him underneath the Eiffel Tower, in the middle of Tiananmen Square. I was in awe. I looked around the chapel today and it was completely filled. He lived a life we all dreamed of having, and he clearly left an impression on people. As for my relationship with him, I spent more time with him this past year than before. I was there during his last breaths. And I would be one of the six to carry him to his final resting place. I felt content in knowing that I had very few regrets with him.

On the night he passed, as we were driving back to the hospital after dinner, my mom reminded me of what he appreciated about me. One of the things he would ask about me is dragonboating, and I guess my athleticism was what he enjoyed about me as a person. She told me, paddle hard for him.

There is no guide on grief, no simple formula to help us understand it. We all have to figure it out on our own. For me, to continue doing the things he admired about me and doing them well is enough to carry me forward.

From that night on, I knew what I had to do.

Posted: January 21st, 2014
Categories: Late Night Blurbs, Life
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