Many years ago, when she was but a child, my mother lost her father to asthma. Obviously, I never got to meet him. But I’ve heard so much about him from my mother and my grand aunt. I know he’s caring, generous, sweet, and a faithful servant of God. Oftentimes, I catch myself thinking about him.
In my head, he is the man I see in the sepia pictures of my mother and him – still as healthy, fit, and just a little bit aged. I like to wonder how different my life would be if he were still around.
I imagine him to be a wonderful grandfather. He’d be one of those really cool grandfathers whom you can tell anything too. I’d look forward to meeting him every weekend, and we’d sit around and play board games together, or maybe just watch some telly. We’d pick out clothes and books that we could donate to the Salvation Army. He would laugh with me, joke with me, tell me stories of valiant soldiers, boundless love, and pixie dust.
Like how I spend my time with my (live) paternal grandparents, I’d cherish every moment with him because I know that, chances are, he’s not going to outlive me.
I’ve always envisioned having him around, even when I was a child. I talked to him in my head before I went to bed, starting each conversation with “hi mummy’s daddy”. I’d tell him every detail of my day, starting from brushing my teeth in the morning and ending with crawling into bed. Sometimes, I’d fall asleep midway through recounting my day.
Even though I never met him, I’ve painted a perfect picture of him in my head. If he were to come back to live, or if I found myself in a universe whereby he didn’t die (how could would that be!?), I doubt I’d be disappointed.
Meanwhile, though, in this universe, I have two live paternal grandparents, and I love them despite their quirks. My paternal grandmother, as the Chinese would say, “pinched me till I grew up”. She’s always there for a hug, and always there to visit me in hospital. She’s a wonderful grandmother, who told me traditional Chinese stories until I fell asleep next to her. She doesn’t ever get mad at me – even when I sprayed whip cream in her face. On accident, I assure you.
Well, this is turning out to be a rather lengthy post.
I ought to go back to bed now, so goodnight my dear readers (i.e. my mother, and probably nobody else).