In memory of the love of my life
Last week was my late grandma’s birthday. While I was lighting some incense at her home to wish her a happy birthday, I couldn’t help but smile – because until this day, I still get people asking me all the time: “So, are you married or like a huge LOTR fan?”
But that’s perhaps one of the most common questions I get when I meet someone for the first time because of the gold ring I wear around my neck. I typically give a half-ass explanation as to why I am wearing the golden donut: I’m pretty sure most strangers wouldn’t be REALLY interested (nor have the time) to understand why I am wearing Frodo’s ring.
Well, since you are here, which indicates that you’re interested or flat-out bored, here’s the unabridged version.
I am fortunate to have a very, very tight-knit family; and by family, I don’t mean just my mom, dad, and brother – I mean, my extended family – my plethora of aunts, uncles, cousins, and most importantly my late grandparents. I lived with one of my grandmothers for the majority of my childhood, and my other was always very nearby – both loved me unconditionally and both were the sweetest people you’d have the pleasure to meet.
Coincidentally, they both gave me gold rings as a child – and since then, I’ve always kept them with me. My grandmothers have since passed – and it was the most difficult of times for me to lose the loves of my life. And so, now, I wear the ring from one of my grandmothers on the necklace that my other grandmother wore.
No, this isn’t a case of a man with a complex – this is just a boy who was fortunate enough to have been loved by two of the greatest women he knows – and who will always keep them by his heart.
The following was something I wrote for my Popo (mom’s mother) after she passed, who I assure you, made the best dumplings I’ve ever had. Many of you have read this one before. Hopefully, like me, you just don’t ever get sick of something so full of flavor.
It is usually a simple task
to write about something I love
enjoy and savor
especially when it comes to matters that whet my appetite
of raw Sashimi
of the delicate crunch of Shark’s Fin
dress a freshly baked pita with a thin slice of Peking Duck
Writing about any of these delightful delicacies
is as effortless as taking a bite.
those that are found at the heart of every family feast
but seldom celebrated
or an ode to gourmet cuisine,
but a ditty about the most scrumptious, yummy
savoury dumplings I have ever tasted
the perfect and wholesome craftsmanship of the chef,
or the sweet yet salty ingredients within?
molding the cute little dimples into the crescent
making the most beautiful masterpiece
ever concocted in any grandmother’s kitchen?
and the ferocious tummy-growl
upon seeing, smelling
or even thinking of them.
Her dumplings are the most difficult conception
to write about in all of God’s most delicious creations
I will miss them, always
Until I am filled by her presence once again.
This was for my Mama (dad’s mother) when we were by her side in the hospital.
like a frail grandmother
dragging her tired frame
across the marathon of time
as I encourage her on the sidelines
taking in barely enough life
to sustain her own
of how we rush through it
leaping over hurdles
sprinting to the finish line
but what, exactly, are we racing for?
looking over her
watching her struggle
a frail grandmother
begging her to take time
go for another lap
screw the finish line
this ain’t no goddamn race
and dragging her along
toward a finish line we refuse to see
ending a race I refuse to acknowledge
as I stand over her bed, begging her to try
give her my long-winded breaths
to sustain her’s
to stop time