Wednesday, April 29, 2009
( 12:03 AM ) teahouse
Resting in Peace
Over the weekend, my grandmother passed away.
Even though she was far away in Asia, and kind of out of it for the last year of her life, and in the hospital, and even though I rarely saw her and we weren't that close, I'm very sad.
My grandmother had a tough life. She was beautiful - I mean, movie star beautiful. And sweet.
But she had the misfortune to be born to poor rural farmers who desperately needed a son. So her parents gave her up for adoption.
Her adoptive parents were mean to her. They made her work very hard on their farm and didn't let her go to school.
My mom tells the story of how they were such mean and stingy people, that even the pigs they raised almost starved to death.
"Look at how skinny their pigs are!" the neighbors would say, to prove the point that these people were meaner than second skimmings.
When she was in her early 20s, my grandmother met my grandfather, who was from a rich family. He chased her even though he was already married with kids.
My grandmother got pregnant. My grandfather told her if she had a boy, he'd leave his wife for her.
My grandmother had my mom. He stayed with his wife.
My mom grew up really poor. My grandmother would sew shirts for my mom for school uniforms, out of sacks in which flour and rice were given to them from the United States government aid programs.
My grandmother worked hard - she cleaned houses and did laundry for rich ladies.
She never learned to read, but she was very proud of my mom when my mom went to college - a feat unheard of in that time and place.
To the end, my grandmother loved shopping and makeup and beautiful clothes. And she was vain. But who could blame her? She was beautiful and charming. Perhaps she could have been a movie star or model or ambassador or doctor or teacher, had life dealt her a better hand.
Wherever her soul is now, I am thinking of her and offering this, my tribute to her life. #