August 5, 2022No Comments

Love That Endures

My grandmother loved me.

My grandma loved me so much that whenever my mom yelled at me as a kid, my grandma would yell back at her because her first grandchild could do no wrong.

My grandma loved me so much that, after she officially immigrated to the U.S. four years ago, she cried, but it was only because she got to see me for the first time in eight years.

My grandma loved me so much that she would continue crying tears of joy every time she saw me after that. For four years.

My grandma loved me so much that despite my having a big kid job with a well-paying salary, she still saw me as her baby who needed to be given money for pastries and little snacks.

My grandma loved me so much that every encounter with her consisted of those classic sniff kisses. On the hands, on the cheek, on the nose.

My grandma loved me so much that, whenever we were next to each other, she would hold my hands tightly and refuse to let go. For the last year I took advantage of that and grasped even tighter, if only to ingrain the wrinkles on her hands into my memory.

My family and I had the privilege of seeing her the morning before she passed. It felt like any other visit and would only be five minutes because we were only stopping by to say hi before our flight. For some reason I felt compelled to hug her extra tight that day. I remember pulling back to leave the hug, but something called me to lean back in. I tried to give her the bear hug I usually give everyone else despite her frail frame. I squeezed extra tight for extra long, and I am so glad I did because she passed the next night in her sleep.

My grandma loved me so much, and I know that on the last morning we saw each other she was reminded that I love her, too.

June 3, 2022No Comments

“Proud” Doesn’t Even Begin to Cover It

Sometime in high school, I remember laying in bed with my then eight or nine-year-old sister lamenting about petty drama. I was complaining about something insignificant, yet my sister’s response in that moment wasn’t to poke fun at my feelings. At eight years old, Michelle had offered a really grown up response, actually. What those specific words were, I can’t recall, but what I can remember from this tiny blip from our childhood is the way she made me feel: heard, but challenged. She had posed a question offering a different perspective, and my first thought was, “Sorry, aren’t you like, eight?” followed by, “Actually, I hadn’t thought about it like that.”

Another memorable exchange I hold fondly from our upbringing is me randomly exclaiming, “I love sleep! Don’t you?” to which my eleven? or twelve-year-old sister responded, “Yeah, but it makes me feel so disconnected from the world.”

Girl, what?

Read more