Friday, September 28, 2012

my role model

i'm just a hot mess tonight.
got the news last night that my grandma was going to the hospital because she had been having diarrhea and vomiting the last few days.
the doctor said to take her off the medicine and we all know well enough what that entails.
anyway, i was really distracted at work today and just didn't feel myself.
and then i came home and skyped my grandma. she looks so different from when i skyped her on monday night.
she had lost more weight and she was so breathless she couldn't even talk to me.
and so i asked her to use the oxygen tank for a little bit. and so it was basically just me sitting there watching her and just crying. i tried to keep it all in but it was so hard plus my background was kind of dark so i don't think she could see me crying (at least i hope that was the case).
i feel so helpless.

anyway, today i want to tell you more about this amazing grandmother of mine.
she had a really hard life. she moved from hainan island when she was very young. she had a very long journey over from hainan island, stopping over at hk at some point. she was with a sibling (i think her brother) but he died on the way and she was all alone. imagine being all alone at such a young age (i think she was around 15 or so).
she had to find her way to singapore and so she did hard errands such as wash people's clothes. she had an extremely hard life doing such errands for a long time and then she got married and raised 5 kids. my grandfather was a sailor and so she was alone at home with the kids most of the time while he was out at sea. 
and then ever since her kids have grown up and gotten married, she has stayed with my family and basically raised my sisters and i while both my parents worked.
i was a year old in this picture at our first home
3 years old
2 years old on a vacation

all my years growing up, i would come home from school and there would be lunch ready for us on the table. we would shower, eat and then fool around while my grandma made sure the house was tidy and would cook dinner as well.
while we were at school during the day, she would go to the market to get groceries in the morning.
during the school holidays when we were home all day, she would make sure to pick up treats for us when she went grocery shopping so we would have stuff to munch on during the day.
during chinese new year, even though its a lot of work for her, she would always make sure that we have a feast with duck, chicken, prawns, different types of vegetables and a soup. this is only the food thats on the kids' table. there's more on the adults table and so you can imagine what time she has to start cooking that morning in order to have it all ready by the time we all gathered for the reunion dinner 
chinese new year: she always makes sure we have big red packets and that we get fed lots of CNY goodies. on top of what she cooks for reunion dinner, she also makes sure there's a feast for lunch on day one of CNY
the last meal she cooked for me when i was back home for christmas break - it looked almost exactly like what i would have for reunion dinners
reunion dinner 2007

i have never once heard her complain in my entire life.
even though she's had such a hard life, i've never heard her complain or say anything bad.
when i used to share a room with her, sometimes at night, i would hear her have nightmares and it just broke my heart.
in 2009, she had her first serious fall and so we decided that she would stay with my aunt because our house is often empty and it would be bad if she fell when no one was home.
by then, i had already gone off to college and when i went home for christmas break, she always insisted on coming back and staying with us so she could cook me meals that i had missed so much being away from home so long.
at the airport after christmas break 2008
2007: leaving for college
2011: going back to school after the mission
2011 christmas break

she has been there for all my big milestones in life and right now, i wish i was married and had kids because there's nothing in this world i want more than for my children to meet my grandmother because she is an amazing person. just this past year, my aunt had the chance to babysit her visiting teachee's son a lot and i could just see the joy in my grandmother's face to have babies/toddlers around again.
at marina barrage flying kites with the little boy yuto
my 18th birthday
my 21st birthday
 
i could go on all day about how amazing she is and it wouldn't even be enough.
well, right now she's suffering a lot and i just want to say 'why' because she had such a hard life, why must she still continue to suffer at this old age?
and then i remembered the talk by president eyring about how his mother suffered in old age as well even though she had been through much and was an amazing person.
it still kills me though because i feel like she's had enough trials and pain to last her a lifetime, she does not need more. i would gladly take them for her.
she used to be so active and now she's basically confined to the home because she gets breathless while walking.
and then the side effects of the medicine consist of dry skin and ulcers in the mouth and so she has a hard time eating or sleeping at times because of the itch that comes as a result of the dryness and the pain of the ulcers. 
and basically half of the cousins are all overseas working, at school or married. i know she misses us a lot and some part of me regrets not going home and just finding a job in singapore. 
anyway, please keep her in your prayers. i'm at a point where i don't know whats best anymore and am willing to let go if it takes away the pain.
but its so hard to let go...
 
its the mooncake festival this weekend and it just makes me sadder thinking back on past mooncake festivals. and i just want to be with her. why did i get a job here :(
mooncake festival 2005
mooncake festival 2006
 
i have the best grandmother and she has changed my life for good.
family halloween party 2005
she tolerates us on so many levels
2008
her 80th birthday bash 3 years ago
on the singapore flyer in 2009
march 2011
 on a vacation to the philippines and i had her try the starbucks sample which was apparently gross but she posed so nicely for me nonetheless
she tolerates us when we take a million photos, especially when we should be eating
 
ah po, i love you. thank you for being such a role model.
 
xoxo,
C

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