Grandfather died today.
Kim was very close to him because she lived with her grandparents since she was young, until we got married. Back in Vietnam, when she was in elementary school, grandpa took her and her siblings to school, and picked them up in his bicycle every day. He was more than a grandfather to her. He was, throughout her life, a father figure.
Grandpa was a soft spoken man. I never heard him raise his voice, never saw him mad. He was also a man of little wants; always giving, always sharing the little he had. His grandsons, granddaughter, daughters… the entire family benefitted from his selflessness.
Kim told me, jokingly of course, the secret to grandpa’s longevity was that grandpa was a Highlander. He was immortal! Truthfully, the secret was a combination of good genes and healthy diet. Grandpa preferred fish over red meat, boiled eggs over fried ones, oatmeal over hash browns.
Grandpa lived a long life. One hundred years old he was. What a life! Lived through more than one war, experienced extreme sadness having to bury his three sons, and losing his lifetime wife. He certainly deserved a rest. Although family delves into sadness — and I am not immune to it — I want to believe grandpa would not want us to be sad. The impact he made in our lives lives today, and we are all thankful to have have him for this long amongst us.
Thus, as he goes back to be stardust again, we say: thank you for your life, for your care, for your love. Farewell grandpa!