Friday, October 21, 2016

heart to heart

Me and my grandma on her birthday in 1990

I rarely share very personal things on my blog or YouTube, but today I would like to talk to you about my grandma.

My grandma was quite the lady. She was born in the Philippines in the 1920s and moved to America with her husband, my grandpa, and my mom in the early 1980s. She worked as a pharmacist and throughout my life always told me the good and not-so-good things about any prescriptions. She was funny and laughed at all my jokes. She told me when she thought I look pretty; I always knew the comment was coming just by the way she smiled. She was the best cook, and to this day, I still compare all Filipino food to hers.

She was so upset when my grandpa passed away in 2013. In fact, I think it was the first time I'd ever seen her cry. She spent the next 13 years without him because she was too strong to do anything else. And that's why it was such a surprise when she was diagnosed with lung cancer last fall.

My grandma? Lung cancer? She never smoked or even had a sip of alcohol a day in her life! I still remember that the day she got the diagnosis, I had it in my mind that she was just going to take some medicine to make the pain go away, not get life-changing news.

I spent the rest of 2015 in NJ, my apartment in the city pretty much forgotten. We all tried to carry on with life as if nothing was really different, minus a really scary Stage 4 diagnosis reminder that was always in the back of our minds. For several weeks, she was doing so well. She was happy on her birthday, still laughed at all of my jokes, and kept trying to feed me more rice than I could ever eat. But then, as expected, things took a turn in November. She passed away on a cloudy Saturday just after Thanksgiving.

Today would have been my grandma's 91st birthday. It's very strange to think that it's been nearly a full year without her. In the beginning, the sad days seemed to outnumber the happy ones. But then life goes on and everything goes back to the way it was. I can look back fondly on the years I spent with my grandma and know that they were happy ones.

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