I was awoken this morning by my mother who I hadn’t seen crying for some time now.
She came to tell me that my grandfather had passed away just then and I had no idea what to do. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to go to his house to see him because I didn’t want to see everyone during their moment of weakness. I had never seen these people cry and I wasn’t ready to face it just yet but with some convincing I was able to make it over there. It was hard but I’m glad I went through with it.
I went to work to get my mind off things and because they really needed me and I’m glad that I did. I got a lot of support from my awesome coworkers and I love them so much for it. I asked for tomorrow off though. I’m going to take some time for me (and my essays).
The reason why I have a picture of a Buick Park Avenue is because I was practically raised in this car when my mother was at work. My grandfather had picked me up every day from preschool even till early college. He was there for me rain or shine. The few days it DID rain in LA, it was practically a storm but it did not stop my grandfather from coming to pick me up with an extra umbrella in hand. Some days he would be knee deep in water but it never deterred him one bit. Often when I was a little girl and the neighbor’s yard was unkempt and teaming with snails my knight in shining armor would make his way around the car just to pick me up and carry me across safely. I loved those days. Other days we’d buy tacos at Taco Bell and when we were both in the mood for a treat we’d each get a scoop of ice cream from Rite Aid. We drove just about everywhere in that car. Do you know where he got it? Since my grandfather had bought my mother HER first car (Blue Toyota Tercel) my mother returned the favor by buying him a car as well. I was heartbroken when hoodlums stole the car for parts and the cops found it days later in downtown LA stripped of EVERYTHING and it was just the body of the car resting on cinderblocks. The insurance company gave us a whole $200 to replace the car. Shmucks! I loved the velvety insides with the old time radio. There wasn’t a single thing I hated about that car. And there wasn’t a single thing more that my grandfather could have done for me. Since my mother was a single mom, my grandfather was the dad that I had never had. Being the only kid in my family for 10 years, my grandfather gave all his love to me. He’d buy me delicious snacks, take me everywhere and be there when I was sad or feeling ill. I’d play Chinese chess with him while he would teach me Chinese characters. We’d eat lunch together and end it with a few pieces of Konpeito candy or a biscuit cookie. Water the lawn together or rake up old leaves. Sit in front of the heater while he watches news in several different Asian languages. Talk about his times during the war or about him walking 2 miles to go to school in the snow with no shoes on. Who knows if it was true or not. All I know is that I will forever love my grandfather and that I would not be who I am today if it were not for him. He was the support that I needed to grow up healthy and strong. I love you grandpa and I’m going to miss you.