My Grandma passed away this past Christmas. I felt bad. I immediately thought of my Grandpa, I thought of my Mom and her siblings, I thought of my brother and my cousins, and in particular I thought of my nieces and nephews. My nephew Weston was 5 years old when my Grandma passed. I thought what would Weston remember about my Grandma, his Great Grandma?
I was 5 years old when my Grandpa on my dad’s side passed away. I don’t remember too much about my Grandpa Tino. I kind of remember his voice. I remember a game we used to play. He would hide coins under the couch cushions. When I would come over, I would look under the couch cushions and find free change. When he got sick, I remember the coins being there less and less. Then when he passed, they just weren’t there anymore.
Those memories made think, what would my nephew remember about my Grandma?
I remember family parties. My Grandpa and Grandma would go to every family party they could. We would walk up and give them a hug. She would find a spot to sit and was content to catch up with folks around her.
I remember summers. My Grandma babysat us every summer until we were able to stay home alone. I remember how she cooked for us. Like a lot of Grandmas, she showed her love to her family through food. No one can top my Grandma’s adobo, or her rice. If we didn’t want what she had made she would encourage us to try to cook. If you ever wanted to find out what spices don’t mix well with Top Ramen, I can tell you. I remember my aunts and uncles coming over throughout the day to get a quick meal between work shifts. I remember hours spent with cousins. I can’t tell you how many times my Grandma would tell us to stop playing so rough with each other, or to leave someone alone. It still impresses me to this day that that lady was able to keep between 2 to 8 of us in line, each day, every summer.
I remember how she was in the Philippines. My grandparents moved back to the Philippines almost 10 years ago. They would travel back and forth throughout the year. The way my Grandma was in the Philippines was the way she was in a casino, she knew what she wanted to do and had the innate confidence and wisdom to do it. I think a lot of us cousins were a little worried how she would be in the Philippines because how much time she had spent with us, her family, around her. Moving to the Philippines would mean we wouldn’t be able to see her each week. Then she got Facebook. For a person who I’ve never seen have a desire to learn new technology, this lady took to Facebook like a duck in water. With Facebook she could see and interact with the family, and we had an opportunity to interact and see her garden. She could see how we were doing and we could get her messages expressing love, how much she missed us, and how we should “be careful”.
A big part about visiting the Philippines was being able to see her and how she was in her element. I didn’t have too much concern about my Grandpa, but going to the family farm, seeing her be energetic and smiling took a lot of that initial worry away. Having the opportunity to see my Grandma shop at a Philippine market, interact with her friends at a small party, lounge with us while she sat in her rocking chair, or just be excited to show us her plants, it felt good. I can’t picture how it will be to go there without her.
That’s what I’ll remember about my Grandma, but I wonder what Weston will remember?
I think he’ll remember her smile when she grabbed his hands to play. I think he’ll remember how soft her skin felt. Like a lot of us in the family, she had really dry skin, so she always had lotion and ointments at the ready. Her skin always felt soft. I think he’ll remember her hugs. She always gave good hugs.
If there’s anything I’m sure he’ll remember it’s how much she loved her family. We will love you always Grandma Fe, or like her family knows her Grandma Ping.