Sunday, September 26, 2010

one day your life will flash before your eyes

it's been a week. exactly 7 days ago and on my birthday i experienced losing someone so close to me. we all knew it was time, time to accept what was coming, time to let him rest peacefully. i don't know what i feel, because i keep seeing his ernie bott face and i keep thinking that the next time i go home to boston, he'll be sitting there telling me how tall i am (all 5'3" of me) and asking me what some english word means. he was the greatest human being i've ever met. he didn't smoke, drink, cuss, or gamble. besides that, i think the most honorable trait was that in the 20 years that i knew him, i never once heard him speak an ill word about someone or treat anyone without respect and kindness. he took care of his family working from the ground up. and never once have i heard anyone say a bad thing about him. i can't sum up what an amazing man he was. he lived as a saint and i'm sure he's a saint now. i still remember him taking the T all the way to cambridge to pick me up from school, cane in hand, baseball cap on. I would always get so sleepy on the greenline and he would have to drag my twatty butt back to mason place. i will always remember him watching basketball (chicago bulls fan) in his favorite green chair, handwashing his clothes well into his 90's, or getting up every morning to buy the chinese newspaper and perhaps a cha shiu bao or dan tat for dicky and i. i was so lucky to have gone back to the place in china where he raised his family and to spend that amazing summer reliving his past with him. my only regret is not spending more time with him towards the end. I love him so much and i'm so thankful to have met such an angel in my life. my grams told me that him passing on my birthday is his present for me to live, so that every year, as i grow another year older, his dream lives on. he wanted us to live honorable and simple lives, educating ourselves to become better people. i only hope to be half the person he was and i hope to pass on his message to my kids. his birthday gift was that he brought all of my uncles and aunt together in a way i never thought possible (despite the family drama), it was my first birthday where they were all there with me and he in spirit (i wouldn't ask for anymore). when people ask you who your hero is or who you aspire to be, you often hear a celebrity or some famous figure, but i can 110% say that he's mine and everything about this man was real, honest, and good to the core. just when i was losing faith in family, my culture, and where i came from, he renewed my faith. i miss him so much and its lonely to being here by myself, but i know he's want me to be strong and to be happy for the amazing 20 years that i got to spend with him and the 98 years (+2, 1 from the heavens and 1 from the earth) that he graced this earth with his presence. tomorrow they will bury you and i wish i was there, it's finally kicking in that you're gone but i'll always be there with you to hold your hand just i did when i was 5 years old.

“You can shed tears that he is gone,
or you can smile because he has lived.
You can close your eyes and pray that he'll come back,
or you can open your eyes and see all he's left.
Your heart can be empty because you can't see him,
or you can be full of the love you shared.
You can turn your back on tomorrow and live yesterday,
or you can be happy for tomorrow because of yesterday.
You can remember him only that he is gone,
or you can cherish his memory and let it live on.
You can cry and close your mind,
be empty and turn your back.
Or you can do what he'd want:
smile, open your eyes, love and go on.”

-David Harkins

so gramps:
I love you and I miss you.
I will always hear your voice in my head
and remember your ernie bott face and mica feet.
I will try my best to live a life that you would be proud of.
May you watch over our entire family, bring us together
and may you forever rest in peace.

ka wing

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