Random Observation/Comment #270: When you’re in your 20’s you go to clubs and parties. When you’re in your 30’s you go to weddings and baby showers. When in you’re 40’s you go to children play-dates and couples outings. When in your 50’s, you go to your kids’ graduation parties or anniversaries. When I’m in my 60’s, will I be going to funerals more than parties? If so, I hope my friends consider serving alcohol – well, alcohol or ginger ale/cranberry juice, whichever I can drink… We’d definitely still crank the party rock anthem and shuffle.
Apologies for this message being late, but I had been reflecting about how to write this post during my trip to Russia and found it rather difficult to put into words. I wanted to say the same thing about Kaipaw as I did about Goo Jerng, but alas, she had not exactly taken a front seat in my upbringing. Granted, she was probably there to hold me and change my diapers a few times, yet her charm and personality had not left any fond memories or obsessions with foods like my summers in Pennsylvania.
From my oldest memories of Kaipaw, she had the same elegant beauty in her elderly age. Even at 90, her wrinkles were shallow around the eyes and defined her grin with a look of sincerity and wise humility. She would either smile politely or sometimes just stare blankly; lost in deep thought. That raspy voice is still so clear in my mind when she asked me if I wanted to drink the sodas in the fridge (for you see, better I drank it than Amanda). As the sodas became beers, her mannerisms and my greetings remained unchanged. I’ll always remember her smile as she said “how are you?” We weren’t even blood-related, but no harm in having another kid, right?
I can tell she lived a life based on stories. Not only did she love to listen to random ones, but she also wanted to tell her own. I’m sure if you could find the right topic about Chinese TVB soap operas, she could go on for hours. I remember her role in the group dinner-table conversations where she would sit there silently eating and paying attention to the mixture of side conversations throughout the table. I’d always look over to see her poking at her food or looking around to briefly meet peoples’ eyes. It was endearing to see her put forth the effort to ask the simple questions. I had a gut feeling that all she wanted to do was to tell a story and have more than one person next to her listen. Maybe it was her personal story? Maybe it was just a random observation/comment? Either way, I don’t know if we ever gave her a chance.
Perhaps attention becomes the most important thing after you have grandchildren. Maybe recognition is the only thing one needs to feel important and a part of the world time inevitably races onward; whether you care to pay attention or not. What better way to slow down time than by being surrounded by those who are always listening? Amanda always listened. Perhaps you were her best friend. Wouldn’t you want to live forever if it meant forever in their hearts?
~See Lemons Miss Kaipaw