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The way the human brain works just marvels me. It’s amazing how memories from a long time ago can instantly trigger that frown to turn upside down. Or, on the opposite end of the spectrum, it could instantly trigger the tears in your eyes to fall. I can’t specifically say whether or not it’s a good thing, but I’m happy to still have these memories… so I can always look back on them in life and say “I still remember. I haven’t forgotten”.

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Very often when I talk to my little cousin, somehow the topic of funerals and grandparents come up. She asks me “Do you always have to wear black at funerals? Because I remember at our grandpa’s funeral, I don’t think I was wearing all black. Stephanie, do you remember him? Because I was so little… I can barely remember how he was…” It saddens me that they might not remember him… how he was… how much he loved us… but at the same time, I feel blessed to have known him for so long. And all I say to her is “he was a great man. And he loved us.” And suddenly the rush of memories flow into my head…. all the times he would take the bus to our house to spend hours growing vegetables in our garden; the days he would buy food for us in Chinatown and bus it down to our house; his voice on the phone telling us to wear more clothes in the Winter time.

I think even to this day, I’m still unclear as to exactly what happened… what caused it. From a simple cough, to having to go to the hospital, to getting kidney dialysis… I don’t know. And I don’t think I ever will. It was all such a blur. All I remember is this: that despite the fact he was hooked on a machine all day long, he was worried most about us. Not about himself. But about us. “If you have a bump near your throat you need to get it checked. Don’t wait too long before you see the Dr. Are you ready for school? Do you need a new cell phone? Do you have enough money? Because if not I’ll give you some.”

Although today marks the 8th year, it still breaks my heart to know that he’s no longer with us. But I remember him saying that when he closed his eyes, he saw a beautiful garden…. 

我爱你. I love you. I miss you… a lot.

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