This is a very difficult post for me to write.
You see, I’ve had one helluva week.
It’s been one big emotional roller coaster. I think every emotion known to man, I’ve felt this week.
It really challenged my strength and patience…my hope and trust.
I tried my best to keep chugging along and stay positive. Trying hard to be strong and resilient.
And then I received the news today.
Our grandfather passed away.
And suddenly, all became quiet.
I think I was in too much shock to really react. I spoke to my parents, my brother and my cousins. I went and picked up Bruno from the groomers. I replied to emails, made some dinner, did the dishes… And then I sat. And thought about my grandfather. And our family. This is the 2nd death in our family in less than a year. We lost our 22 year old cousin in a tragic motorcycle accident in Korea. While his accident and death were all over the news, we had to bury and mourn our young cousin and try our best to not think about the life that could have been. A very promising life.
My grandfather lived a long, good life. But that doesn’t make losing him any easier. He was a great man. He loved his family and his grandchildren and did anything for us. And he loved me. When I was born, he was apparently smitten by his little granddaughter. And the feeling was mutual. When I learned to crawl, I would get up really early every morning and go to his bedroom door and sit outside and wait for him. Every morning he would ride to the farmer’s market to buy the groceries for the day’s meals. He ended up building a seat on his bike so he can take me with him on these bike rides. When my parents and I immigrated to America, he broke down and cried in the airport. According to the family, it was the first and last time they ever saw him cry.
When I was in elementary school, my brother and I spent an entire summer in Korea one year. One of the first things my grandfather did was buy me a bike. And every morning I would wake up early and ride alongside him and pick up the day’s groceries. Some were in his basket, some in mine. We’d ride to where his friends congregated and I’d watch as he chatted and laughed with them while we all had breakfast together. He’d brag about me to his friends and I never forgot the pride and light in his eyes as he spoke of me as if I wasn’t there. We’d ride back home after finishing our breakfast and when we got home he would smile down at me and ask me if I had fun. The answer was always yes.
The last time we saw him was 2 years ago when my family went to Korea for 3 weeks. He was weak and frail, his suits hanging limply on his old body. He lost the sparkle in his eyes he always had. I remembered my grandfather being a big, strong man. He was very handsome and took pride in his appearance. The man we saw two years ago was just a shell of a man I knew growing up. It was heartbreaking.
I wish I spent more time with him. I wish I told him that I loved him as much as he loved me since the day I was born. I regret not thanking him for everything he did for us. I regret so much.
One comforting thing is that he found God in the last years of his life. He was very dedicated to the church. I’d like to think he left peacefully knowing a better life awaits him in heaven.
I will never forget the way he smiled and beamed when all his grandchildren were all together in his home. I will always remember the way his eyes sparkled when he spoke to the people he loved with his strong, commanding voice. I will only remember how strong and healthy and alive he was.
Life is short. Life is unpredictable. Life can sweep the rug from under your feet in a blink of an eye. I’ve learned that this week. I wish he could have seen me get married before he left. I wish I had one more moment with him. I wish he was still with us.
Let’s not hesitate in telling the people we love that we love them. Thank them for being who they are. Appreciate the moments we have with them. Let’s be kind to each other. And let’s not wait to do all these things. Because they could be gone tomorrow. And it’ll too late to do anything about it.