How do you say Goodbye?
The past week has been tough. Emotionally draining. My beloved grandfather passed away on Saturday morning and we were all just tied up with the wake and getting enough rest. I expected him to go within the year, but talking is always easier.
The past week, Avril has been what's keeping me going. I barely register the fact that my grandfather has passed on because I knew I had to be strong for her. It is when night fall and I'm alone, I break down and remember all that wonderful memories I've had with my grandfather.
When my father passed away 10 years ago, I felt like an orphan. My mother was never home, she rarely interacts with us. I was at the peak of my teenage years and it wasn't surprising I became a mom's nightmare. I was out drinking all the time, partying, coming home drunk smelling of cigarette and hard liquor, sometimes, I don't even go home. I visited my grandfather and aunt twice a year, during Christmas and Chinese New Year or when I got kicked out of home and have nowhere else to go.
I just didn't want to be reminded of what having a family felt like. I liked my privacy, I liked my friends more. I liked my bad ass life. Did I really?
I found a job near my grandfather's place shortly before I got pregnant. It must have been God's arrangement because from there, I came home. I visited my grandfather and aunt more regularly, I looked at their faces and realised how much they have aged. Sometimes I pop by for lunch and leave wanting to cry because I couldn't understand why I got disconnected for so many years. Why did I lose my way?
Then I got pregnant.
Many times, I left my aunt's place sobbing my heart out because my grandfather would look at me with his worrying Grey eyes and tell me things like "Are you sure you are full? Are you tired? Go and take a nap before you go back to work. Why don't you take the remaining day off? Is your husband picking you up? Get mummy to send you to the bus stop. "
My aunt would stuff money into my pocket and force me into the cab because I was pregnant and they didn't want me to rush for the bus or walk too much. I was shamed with guilt. What have I done to deserve such love?
My grandfather held my hands so tight when he walked me down the aisle on my wedding day, he stood straight and proud like my father would if he were still alive.
My grandfather loved Avril to the moon and back. He would be so sick before we turn up but when he sees her, he would magically recover and be well enough to take her to the McDonalds downstairs to watch the big brothers play basketball.
I always thought my grandfather was a grumpy old man when I was younger but truth was, he had so much love in him for us, he just didn't know how to show it. Before he passed on, at every opportunity, he would voice out his worries. "What will happen to you all if I die?" We were his biggest worry, we are always, forever in his heart. I love my grandfather. He loved us when nobody else did.
I miss my grandfather, I wish he would always be around commanding me to turn the fan down, bring an ice cream for him, collect the free newspaper, apply cream on his leg for him. I wish I could watch him read the papers and complain about the government, I wish I could hear him laugh.
At this point of time, all I know is, if I feel this terrible about my grandfather's passing, I cannot imagine my aunt's pain.