Friday, February 4, 2011

I am 6. I am sitting on the floor and coloring at the coffee table. The television is on with a Chinese program droning in the background. I pay it no attention. I am coloring.
My grandmother offers me food my grandpa cooked. I refuse, throw a tantrum and keep on coloring. My grandma tries to feed me but I turn the food down again. My grandpa storms into the living room and smacks me across my face.
I cry.
He leaves a handprint on my right cheek. It stings for what feels like eternity.
He is the strongest man in the world.

I moved out of my grandparents' home 3 years ago. I am 16. My grandfather is preparing a feast. My grandmother and mom are helping him in the kitchen. I am in the living room, the lights are not on. I am laying on the couch, exhausted. I need sleep. I went out the night before and partied until 7am. I am tired.
Dinner is ready. My family goes through the motions of setting the dining table.
My grandparents walk into the dark living room.
My grandma asks if I am alright. She asks if I am ill. My grandpa asks if I am okay.
"I'm fine" I tell them.
Then I vow to never let them see me that way again.

Today, I am 26. My grandpa lays on a hospital bed. He drifts in and out of consciousness. I don't take my eyes off of him. I watch his chest rise and fall as he breathes. "Don't let it stop."
He wakes up. He is in pain. He tells me he is tired, very very tired.

I can never thank you enough for raising me.
I will never stop loving you.

The strongest man in the world passed away today.

Rest In Peace Grandpa

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