I am turning away from the travel for a minute. I wanted to make sure I had two blog posts a week, but two Sundays ago, my uncle passed away from cancer. I was not very close to my uncle, but as you can imagine my mother and my grandmother (his mother) are very saddened by the news.
Grief is a very personal and unpredictable thing. My uncle’s passing was unfortunately not the first passing on an uncle. Another uncle passed away in 2013 from a heart attack. With this most recent passing I turned to look at the strength of my grandmother. My grandmother moved to the US when she married my grandfather in 1946. She was 18 years old when she left China to start a new life in what some Chinese people call “the Beautiful Land,” i.e. the United States. In six and a half years, my grandmother lost her third son, her husband, and her eldest son. Her nuclear family has been cut in half in less than seven years. That is a lot of pain to digest and come to terms with. I called her a couple of days later and asked her to come to my place for Chinese/Lunar New Year (which was January 25th). I remember asking her how she was doing and she said “okay….well not okay, but what can you do?” It’s true, when someone dies what can you do? You can just move forward.
My mother was the only daughter and thus has the traditional responsibility of taking care of my grandmother and before his death, my grandfather. My uncle and my grandfather died about one year apart. The emotions of that year were wide ranging. My uncle passed in June 2013, I got married in March 2014, and my grandfather died in June 2014. My grandmother also went through this roller coaster of emotions as well. But like then, we moved forward. We helped the family and gotten them to a point where life was moving forward. And that’s what we’ll do now.
Life is fragile, rewarding, and heartbreaking. The news of Kobe and Gianna Bryant’s deaths only magnify that on a global scale. Families deal with what life gives us, whether your family is blood related or not. We hold onto one another and move forward. RIP Uncle Nelson and the nine victims of last Sunday’s helicopter crash. Let God welcome you into his holy realm.