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I am from cherry blossoms and a great Elm

April 22, 2010

It’s been a rough couple of days… my grandfather died on Tuesday morning.  My mom called from Chicago to tell me that he passed away peacefully as she and my aunt were tidying up his room. He was 86.

I never knew my grandfather on my Dad’s side (he died when my Dad was very young), so with Lolo gone, I’m completely grandfatherless– a grandfather orphan.

Moments after the news had settled, I tried to think back to that morning to see if I had even a psychic inkling that something was awry, but everything had gone as usual: I woke at 6, the kids went to school at 8:30, I was at work by 10. I had absolutely no idea. For some reason this made me saddest of all; that someone so essentially part of me could just slip away unnoticed.

But Lolo had a long and fruitful life. He made traditional Parols for his children and their families every Christmas. It cheers me that he died happy, in the company of his daughters.

And then as if commissioned by synchronicity, one of my sons brought home this poem he’d written at school:

I am from cherry blossoms and a great Elm
From Japanese curry and rice
I am from a big white house with a big table
I am from the green grass, the freshly mown grass
I am from Christmas
I am from creativity, from my Mom and Dad
I am from productiveness and lovingness
From wash your hands and mind your manners
I am from being spiritual
I am from Chicago, Illinois
I am from a hall in a tall house where we all are

David Y. (Age 10)

When I was ten I spent the summer at my grandparents’ house in Urdaneta. They had an old-fashioned artesian well, and every morning it was my job to fetch water for the chickens they raised in the backyard.

Now at 34 I know about as much as a 10-year-old when it comes to what the future holds, but I do know that (like David) I am from many things, including my grandfather.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. May 3, 2010 11:46 am

    I’m so sorry to hear about your Lolo, Gem. Your son’s poem is lovely and perfect. See, the apple doesn’t fall very far from the tree. x M

  2. May 3, 2010 11:56 am

    I must’ve been out of the loop… didn’t know your grandfather passed away. my condolences, dahlin. I love, love, love, David’s poem…

  3. May 3, 2010 12:21 pm

    Thank you, my darlings. xx

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