My paternal grandmother died last week.  It was a long time coming, she wasn’t in very good shape last time I saw her in Hong Kong.  Unable to communicate except a few guttural sounds and curled up in a permanent fetal position, she was a shell of her former self.  There was a language barrier but she always seemed cheery and happy to see me. I’m in the midst of grieving but I think I’ve shed most of my tears already.  I should have spent more time with her. While I don’t believe in a higher being, or in the afterlife, I am comforted by the fact that she is no longer in pain.

She’ll be buried in the family plot, just over the hill from the house.  The house where she raised 9 kids, including my troublemaker father.  Ironically, the biggest family of grandchildren only numbered 3 (I think, there’s a lot of people to keep track of).  After a while, she just stopped naming them and numbered them off instead.  She lived to be 95, that is a lot more than most will ever have.  She had a sweet tooth, even though she barely had any teeth left.  I still remember, at a family gathering, my sister was offering her a selection of pastries from the Italian bakery and she pointed to the cake with the tougher flaky layers even though there were softer options available. The thought of that makes me smile. She would have enjoyed Brunetti’s.

RIP Mah Mah, I’ll burn some incense for you…and eat cake.

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