Grandmother’s greatest gift was her ability to bring people together. Ability to make friends.
Today at the funeral, I saw all our family, her old coworkers, school friends, students’, students’ families, etc etc etc. Very very different people from different backgrounds.
Her smile brought people together, and her smile took care of us.
My entire life I’ve known her and it was always her smile that told me everything was going to be okay.
And when grandma made friends, she held on to them. I always hear her talking on the phone, making long distance calls every chance she could, to check up on old coworkers, old college friends.
Recent years, I would take frequent trips to hospital with grandma and grandpa, to get checkups with them. She would always talk to random strangers while we waited. At first i would always feel kind of shy, sometimes a little annoyed. But i grew to enjoy it because we always met interesting people.
She mostly spoke in Chinese, but if she needed to, she wasn’t afraid to introduce herself to people in English. She was never shy about it, she just love making new friends. And i only found out in recent years that she could speak japanese, when she introduced herself to a japanaese speaking friend of mine…and then she told me she could speak russian as well.
Grandmothers greatest skill was how she was able to hold us together, and keep us connected. She love friends.
Grandmother was many many things, but most of all, she mainly considered herself a teacher. I consider this the last lesson she has to give to us.
That you are not defined by what you do, or how you look, or where you’re from. you are defined by the connections and relationships you foster with the people around you. You are defined by the community you build.