I looked at my mobile phone when I woke up in the afternoon after being a busy event manager aka bridesmaid for my best friend’s wedding till late.
Five missed calls.
Mom and my brother were looking for me. I called back and mm said, “Grandma passed away, this morning.”
I heard mm crying on the other side of the phone. I sat very still, shocked, feeling that rush inside my body, that loss of control. The transition from a wedding to a funeral – in just one night, was too quick for me to bear.
My grandma was a very tough woman, working on her own to bring up seven children when grandpa was spending all day drinking his life away.
She built headstones for people. A tough job for a woman, especially back to the old times. It is hard to imagine her carrying loads of rock on the shoulder with a bamboo pole, days after days.
In my memory, my grandparents were not living together, they were not divorced, but they were both having their own life. I never saw her crying, except during the funeral of my grandpa.
My family was always thankful to grandma, because mm said grandma spared milk money to her at times my parents struggled to make ends meet when my elder brother was born.
I remembered an afternoon when my grandma asked me to paint the street number on the wall of her brick bungalow, after she knew that I won an inter-school Chinese calligraphy competition. It was a sunny day. Sunlight swam on the paintbrush. “It’s great,” she said in a smile.
The writing is still there.
Dec 23, 2007