Two Letters: A Story by Theresa Chow

Dearest Grandpa,

How are you now? I miss you very much. I could not sleep well these last few days. Every time I close my eyes, I see your sorrowful face. My tears fall and I feel tired.

This morning I went to school as usual, but I could not pay any attention in class. I thought I did not belong there. When my classmates were laughing and playing around, I felt uncomfortable and angry with them because they did not notice that I was unhappy. After lunch my form teacher gave me a card that was encouraging. He told me the story of the footprints in the sand and said that he would help me pass this time of sorrow.

I remember your last night. On Wednesday night, I cried before going to sleep. I did not know the reason for crying; maybe it was a sign to warn me that you would leave us on that night. At One O’Clock in the morning, the phone rang and we all woke up to receive the bad news. The phone ring was the most annoying one that I had ever heard because it took you away. At the hospital, we cried loudly beside you, but you did not answer us. You looked too tired to face the world. You did not say a word, but your tears meant everything. They meant that you were not willing to leave us. You were so happy to be free and you were saying goodbye to us. I made a promise to you and I’ll keep it forever.

I am really afraid at this moment. I cannot see you anymore. Tonight, when all your friends and relatives gathered in our home for to pray for you, little cousin Wing Wing was so happy telling everyone that you had died. Only a three-year-old child can face death in such a happy way. I felt pity for her. Her elder sister, Ka Ka, told me she will keep you in her heart, and whenever she wants to see you, you will come out from her heart. If this magic does work, it would most wonderful.

I feel sorry for not taking you to the garden in the wheelchair on that sunny day. I knew you were so eager to breathe the fresh air, but the nurse did not allow you to move. I regret not hugging you when your were in pain for I have no chance now. I have to face the world alone, without your care; I am afraid I cannot handle it.

How do I get through the night without you?
If I had to live without you,
What kind of life would that be?
I need you in my arms,
Need you to hold.
You’re my world, my heart, my soul.
If you ever leave
You would take away everything good in my life.”
(~by Dianne Warren)

Ah Mei

Dearest A Mei,

It is really a great day—all my family and friends gathered in my house. I am so happy to see all of you are doing something for me. I see my face inside the frame, they are looking at my picture and praying for me, the most beautiful prayers and blessings that I’ve ever heard. Oh my dear granddaughter, why are there tears in your eyes? Don’t worry my little girl I am fine and God will take care of me.

I know you that must be hurt. I know you must be sad. But don’t you think it is a good way to release me from the devil’s disease?

I had struggled with the devil for almost a year. I was really tired; it was time for me to take a long vacation. It is time for you to grow up by yourself with my guidance and blessings.

Do you remember the times we were together? When you were born, you brought a lot of joy to us. After twenty years, you are now a lady, I am glad to see it, and I believe that you can do everything if you trust in yourself. Like when you were in Secondary School, you told me that it was difficult for you to study in an English school. But since you made an effort to improve your English, you could manage to do well in the end.

You don’t have to have for a child’s mind to face death in a happy way. Actually you are luckier than your two cousins are because you and I had the happiest time together. They will not be able to experience it. You had the most precious time with me so you don’t have to feel sorrow.

Do you remember that rainy day in 1995? On that day, I was driving you to school. However, when we were on our way, it rained heavily and your school was closed. The traffic was so bad that it was really a challenge to keep the car on the road. Even your Daddy’s car broke down, but we could make it. I drove you safely to where I worked. So don’t worry; I’ll protect you wherever you are. I will guide you to your destination just like on that rainy day. So you must be strong to face the world and believe that you will never be alone.

Now whenever you feel sad and want me to embrace you, just say a prayer to our Father in heaven, then an angel will tell me that my grandchild wants my hug.

~Theresa Chow (Hong Kong)

Return to Bloodlines: Poems and Stories about Family by Young Asian Writers (Asian Voices)

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