Hong ngay minh de mat ba noai. Toi de xinh cam on cho moi nguoi dang goi, viec, ha su di tham bien vien.
When my maternal grandma passed away, I was at a flea market, thrifting at the border at Chau Doc, a city in the An Giang Province, which hugs the borders of Cambodia and Vietnam. I had just finished my first contract and was celebrating, I postponed my family obligations until the next morning, where I was to go to Long Thanh and see my aging grandma. I was a day too late.
I regretted that, as one would probably have in my situation, shopping over seeing the final breath of my grandma. In, out, in, still. The reason why I took a day between for myself was because my grandma had chosen to take 20 years to pass. She had lived to be a year shy of a century, but the last 20 was nothing more than a series of if’s and maybe’s this is it, followed by miraculous recoveries. My mom’s life was put in a constant disarray, as the presumed guilt of not being present for the moment one leaves this universe proved especially hard with an ocean for a moat. Still, she managed.
Today my paternal grandma is weaker than I’ve ever seen. She too has begun a waltz with death but seems to embrace it more. A normal day at my aunt’s — where my grandma stays — consists of pleading with her deity that she has lived the required number of days, and that it would be only fair for her to be allowed the opportunity to pass. Still, at 94, she remains with us. The aunts have begun to suspect that pleas for death are only the ultimate form of attention whoring, and so it becomes difficult to appropriately assess a situation as to when she’s in need of help and when she’s in need of ears and time.
I sit in the living room as my aunts have carpooled to a funeral up north for the weekend and try my best to support assistance. It’s hard to describe what may be the indications of a slow stroke or just another attempt by my grandma to steal the room from another death. It’s going to be a long night.
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While I support the legalization of marijuana, this needs to be remembered.
Ht: Bob B