A year and 2 months. Thats how long it took to be finally in control to losing control of everything in your life.
My grandma died. It wasn't the best farewell either. Cerebral hemorrhage, thats how it happened. Bruising of the brain, a vessel exploded. High blood pressure. I went back to see her in august, when it first happened. She was just lying there, just lying there, no movement, no words. Just lying there like she's taking a nap, well apart from all the life-sustaining equipment that was around her. Tubes in her mouth, needles on her hand. She couldn't even urinate. To see her like that, its ...
My relationship with my grandma isn't the greatest relationship in the world. Back when I was young, 6 years old, when I first got to Singapore. My grandma came along with me. My mother had gotten us both there. She mainly lived with my uncle. To her, it made perfect sense, that the son of her should take care of her. Granted, she was old fashioned.
She would come to me every sunday, with the bus. Then that day, she would spend the rest of the day helping out in the house. Even though we didn't want her to do anything, anything at all, just wanted her to sit there, relax. But she never listens. The laundry, the dishes, sometimes she even cooks. She's awesome.
There are times when we would argue, mainly for the little things that bothered us. My mum's the prime suspect here, though I remember at least once where I lost my temper. I can't remember exactly what happened, but the stubbornness in me stood outside the house for a whole 2 hours, all the while, my grandma was there.
Everytime she's here, she would tell me the exact same thing, "don't make your mum angry, she's hard at work already". We usually give her some money everytime, and that always amount to a "tug-of-war" between us and her. She would not take it, and I always found ways to do put it on her.
There were a couple of months, mainly during my primary school years that I actually lived at my uncle's house. Mum's gone back to shanghai to do business. It was a happy time for me, me, my cousin and grandma all together playing, reading, napping. Grandma was always timid, afraid of burglars in entering the house, telling us to keep quiet. I always wanted to do the opposite, to me, if I made loud noises, and the burglars would know that someone is at home, so they wouldn't come in and steal stuff. But as young as I was, I kept absolute silence. Until people outside the door would just leave, then we went back to what we were doing.
Later did I know, when she was young. her house was attacked by some burglars, and they took away her brother. She was hiding under the bed.
外婆的故事. 她和我说, 她出生在一个有钱家. 屋子很大很大, 厕所就有三个房间的大小. 一家四代住在一个屋檐下. 她上的是一所私立学校, 好像还是英文教学的. 只可惜因为日本侵入, 他们被迫逃到乡下去, 钱也被劫走了, 从此过着平庸的生活. 当了护士. 我也不知道是什么时候, 她无意中提起曾经是国名党. 对于历史感兴趣的我, 问她在那时混乱年代是怎么过得. 她没有回答, 只是脸上稍有哀愁... 好像有什么事情. 她只是一直说"不太记得了". 问了妈妈, 才知道原来她是国名党特务长的私人护士.... 我还真的没看出来.
Though, as the years went by, her body weakened, her visits became less and less, until the time where she called us and said, "I can't come over anymore." Every sunday from there on, I felt I was missing something.
As we grew up, what used to be a smiling face... wasn't smiling anymore. I heard a lot of stories, and truth be told, I wasn't too happy with how my grandma was living. I still remembered when we phoned home while I was in Canada. Grandma wanted to look at some photos of my cousin who came back from Australia, and before she could get to it. My cousin took it away, saying something along the lines of "you don't need to see this". Nevertheless, I remembered that she was so angry that she almost had a heart attack and broke down. All we could do here was to comfort her. That was the time I told myself that I should buy something for her with my first co-op term money. I still remembered the time when I told grandma that I was making money here. She was happy for me, she said "我的退休工资只有几百块钱, 而你第一个月的工资就一万多! 你要争气啊!" That year, I did send her a birthday card and I told my mum to pick a gift for her. We didn't make up our minds, and we just let it slide, and well, in the end I should be the one to be blamed. I always wanted to, but I didn't.
I wrote a card to her on my way back, back when I thought things weren't so bad. I wrote:
As I'm writing this, I'm on the plane to come visit you.
Li Nian Yan should already arrived. I will be there very very soon.
So please get well soon, we are all back. =)
When I went back and finally we were back together, I told my cousin one thing. "Grandma cares about you, she watched you grow up, you're the one that she cares about the most." I know I wasn't lying. She is old-fashioned, the male carries on the family name. The next day, after the day I gave her the card, my cousin wrote a letter.
I regret not giving her anything. Its was all too late.
She passed away 26th November 2007, 5 days after my birthday. I woke up to find 7 missed calls from my mum. I knew instantly...
朱贞元 Born 27th February 1926.
My grandma was cremated, and buried next to my grandpa. Diabetes.
Rest in peace, Grandma.
Her favorite song:
As for me, 2007 wasn't kind. Wasn't kind at all. Maybe I'll have an conclusion soon, waiting, waiting... on something
that might never come.