Monday, June 9, 2008

The grandparents

I mentioned in this post how adorable my grandparents are, and now you can see why. Not only are they cute in pictures, but in interaction as well. My grandfather is fluent in Taiwanese, Chinese, and Japanese, but has managed to learn a few things in English as well (Let's Go!, Baseball, Hello, Goodbye). He's always smiling, loves our hugs, and always wants to take us out or accompany us on our trips. He has long eyebrows, and his dentures flop around in his mouth, all adding to his charm. My grandmother doesn't speak much English at all. In fact, she is only completely fluent in Taiwanese. However, she is perfect at communicating with us via hand motions, facial expressions, etc. And her laugh is one that is positively infectious and happy. Seeing them would be a highlight to anyone's day. Leaving them behind that last night was so hard, especially because I watched my grandma wipe tears away from her eyes.

My mom's adoptive mom {our "Buddha grandma"} is now a monk and lives in a city nearly 40 minutes from my mom's hometown. I remember her coming to visit us when we were really little {and I also remember her not wanting to hold me, I'm embarrassed to admit, because I smelled of urine from my sleep the night before}. I'm sure she knew we were coming to Taiwan, but it was still so heart-warming {and a little heart breaking} to watch her tear up as she saw all of us standing outside of her room at the monastery. We visited her a couple of times on the trip. She is very frail, but still has all the spunk that I remember. I like to watch her communicate with my mom, her only child, and then to look at us with such warmth in her eyes. Goodbyes are never easy, and this one was no different. She watched us walk away until she could no longer see us, waving the whole time.

If you are confused as to why I have three grandparents, let me quickly explain. My mom was born an identical twin and then adopted by my grandfather's sister and her husband {who couldn't have kids}. It's custom to share, and all was well. My mom grew up knowing her birth family, but they were cousins to her. Things are different now, as we are all aware of the situation at hand, so we refer to all of them as our grandparents. My mom's adoptive father died when I was very young. I never met him. With all of my grandparents, I try to make the most of every moment because I am not sure if that was the last time I would see them. I'm also more attached to them now because I no longer have grandparents in America. It warms my heart to know that they have always loved their American grandchildren and have always welcomed us with open arms, though I never even met my mom's birth parents until I was 15. What wonderful people. I miss them already.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Your family is beautiful!!