Dad called me at 9am

My grandmother passed away Thursday morning.

"Were you close?" someone asked. Geographically, no. Funny that was the exact same question someone else asked me when my other grandmother died in 2001. Two days later, I left for Hong Kong for her funeral. And then there were none.

Amah was there from the moment I was born. She visited us every summer. I really can't recall any of our conversations because I didn't understand her Taiwanese-tinged Mandarin and she couldn't understand my Chinglish. I just remember there being a lot of yelling involved. But then for the Taiwanese, volume's always been key in getting a point across.

I slept in a crib until I was 6. One night, I got fed up and climbed out. The first grown-up bed I slept in was with Amah. We still have that bed in our house in Unionville. The room had thick brown drapes. The wallpaper pattern consisted of bare trees in varying shades of brown and silver. I don't think I'll ever find wallpaper like that now. Amah snored. She farted. She was amazing.

"She loved chunky peanut butter," was the first thing I could think of blurting out when M called to see how I was doing. And that she did. Everytime she came to visit, she'd return home with several gigundo jars of Kraft Chunky PB, the ones shaped like bear heads. She would eat it by the spoonful. At the time, chunky peanut butter did not exist in Taiwan. I was a real brat as a child, and was often grounded and sent to my room without dinner; Amah would sneak me pieces of ham and banana.

My plane leaves for Taipei tonight. I haven't started packing.


At 2:20 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I credit Amah for having taught me how to write the number "5."



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