My grandmother left us at 93 years young on Dec 28, 2020 and a big hole in my heart. She was the most wonderful human being and I wish you could have met her.
I wish you could have met her to see her creative spirit. She was always crafting and making something out of scraps of paper or materials just lying around. Where she truly shines is when she has a sewing machine and cloth in her hands. When we were young, we all wore pyjamas which she sewed because they were very cooling and perfect for our hot and humid weather. Even Grace still wears them today even if they are a little too short. I remember my brothers’ pants had a hole for them to wee easily. It was so funny. When I was older, I started sketching ideas for bags or clothing which she seems to be able to transform from fiction into reality. She made the most creative pieces of clothing specially for me because she knew I would appreciate them the most, and I did, now even more than ever.
I wish you could have met her to see that she loved travelling and exploring and visiting places. I remember travelling with her to as far flung as New Zealand when I was younger, and she was already 70 and yet could keep up with everyone! The main reason why she travelled is because she wanted to visit her many children and grand-children scattered across the globe.
I wish you could have met her to see how she loved all her family, great and small. She spoke mainly in the Fuzhou dialect but, for her grandkids like me, she gladly learnt Mandarin so that we can communicate. She once told me that she didn’t want to have many children but she ended up having 7 children with my grandfather and today the family is simply so huge that I’m not even sure how many there are in total and it is still growing.
I wish you could have met her to see she believed in God and, together with my grandfather’s strong faith, brought her entire family to Christ and that strength still resides in our family for many generations.
I wish you could have met her to see what a kind, gentle and tolerant soul she had. She didn’t lose her temper at all, not even on her own children, and not with her grandchildren and definitely not with her great-grandchildren.
I wish you could have met her to admire her wisdom. She knew everything about plants, and herbs. She knew everything about life. When I had just the tiniest rash on my back, she recognised it immediately as shingles and I was able to get it treated before it spread further and recovered rapidly from it. Even up til the very end, when she had the strength to look at the phone screen, she still remembers and recognises every one of us; even my husband, and my girl.
I wish you could have met her to understand what incredible loss and suffering she went through in her life, from being sold to a rich family at the age of 10, to going out to the padi fields to collect rice stalks that was left behind and hiding from the Japanese soldiers during the world wars. She was later forced to marry a man many years older than she was, that she didn’t love at first but learnt to respect and obey.
I wish you could have met her to know how hard she and my grandfather worked to give their family a future and that they even lost her own children to the hardships that followed. In her twilight years, when all her children are now grown and have their own, and even those also have theirs, she was diagnosed from cancer and was freed from it only for it to returned again 20 years later when she was 92.
And yet, I wish you could have met her to see that she was still so positive and cheerful and embraced all that life has blessed her with. She was never weary, never worn down and never disappointed.
But she is gone now and, you will never be able to meet her. And it is OK. Because when you look at us, you will see that my grandmother soul lives in all her children and her grandchildren and her great-grandchildren and so on. My mother is as resilient and hard-working as she was. I inherited her creative soul. Her love, positivity and tolerance lives in all of us, even in my daughter. Her life had so much to give and we can all learn from it and I would be so happy to gain even just a fraction of her wisdom.
I am very thankful to God for my grandmother. May she rest in peace.
I have fought the good fight; I have finished the course; I have kept the faith.
Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, with which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will recompense me in that day, and not only me but also all those who have loved His appearing.2 Timothy 4:7-8
Wish I’ve spent more time with grandma, cousie. Thanks for writing this beautiful piece, bring back many sweet memories.
Under SG Sun says
We all do.