Last week, I lost both my grandmas.
It doesn’t matter that I have a whole lot of videos or pictures stored in my phone. There wouldn’t ever be enough time and I would always wish for more. To have done more, have them beside me for the day I walk down the aisle or for every milestone.
It’s funny what grief does to you. It brings you back on a whirlwind journey through years of memories. Memories you would love to relieve over and over if you could. And it’s amazing how in the midst of all that pain and myriad of rolling tears, you find in yourself the strength and courage to live life just like the one you loved and lost. For me, that meant to be kind and fearless.
There I was at the corner of both funerals. Starring at my folks, oh how strong are they. Captivated by the wrinkles on their face as they bury their faces in their palms, wore their hearts on their sleeves. Vulnerable, aching and making the most of the time left with their mothers as they slipped away. I found myself starring at people streaming in, some of them twice that fateful week.
It’s funny how, a time like this could shape you. How a moment like this could shape a family incredibly.
I miss the way you held my hands. The way you smiled back at me as I cracked incredibly bad jokes. I miss the way you loved me in your own special ways and it’s because of you, I look so fondly at every old person that passes me by. As if somehow, I was staring into your eyes once again.
I’m afraid I’d forget how you made me feel, how you made me laugh. Your incessant penchant to repeat yourself over and over again just like how every other grandparent would. Time with you, was never enough – no matter how many times I made a mental note to savour the moment, document it with videos and pictures.
My last few videos of you, was a video with you holding your favourite Magnum icecream. A video of you being oh so lovely, laughing as I bounced around like I always do, of you telling me that you were glad that I’m home. I miss you. I wish you could have watched me marry the man I love, and fulfil the promise of giving you as much money for mahjong when I’m successful.
Thank you, for teaching me so much and being such a big part of my life. From holding my hands to sleep every night when I was little and telling me bedtime stories about your past, to being the coolest grandma on the block to try new things as I involved you in my job. It never occurred to me how strong, courageous, fearless, witty and kind a person you were till I grew older. There was never a dull moment with you as you always wore a smile on your face ( smoking your cigarette like a rebel) and holding my hand.
Today, I find myself treasuring every moment with my family as if it could change the next. With you on my wallpaper, reminding me to lead life the way you did. To never give up, to fight on, to never fear and always always be kind.
Today, I find myself missing you.
To those of you who are reading – Take the time to capture moments with the people you love. Remembering milestones, moments big or small. We live in constant procrastination that there would be a ‘next time’. They might not mean much now but they will in time to come when pictures and videos are all you have left.