My maternal grandfather passed away the same year I was born. He was still living in China while my parents were relatively new immigrants to the states during that time. I’ve only seen pictures of him and even pictures from his funeral. In his photos he always had this serious stern look. I’ve always wondered what his personality was like and how he would’ve treated me since I’m his youngest granddaughter. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve grown more curious about him. Whenever I chat with my mom, I’d ask her about him. I feel like an anxious little kid hearing the stories about him. I start visualizing how he interacts with others and his mannerisms. According to my mom, he always put others first and enjoyed helping others. When someone was sick, he was there to take care of them and get them medicine. But when he was sick, he was stubborn about going to the doctors and having others help him. He worked on bicycles and motorcycles a lot. Seems like a cool guy to me.
My paternal grandfather passed away when I was about 13 or 14 years old. He’s the only grandfather figure I’ve ever been around, but honestly he wasn’t the greatest. Treated me like shit, never really acknowledged me, and all sorts of bad stuff. He just wasn’t a fan of me for whatever reason and I was the most well behaved. Out of all his grandchildren, my brother and I weren’t ever on the top of his list. Well eventually, my brother made it to the top of the list, but I was still on the bottom. I remember when he took my cousins and I out to McDonald’s when we were little, I saw how he favored the others except for me. It was really hurtful when you’re super young and even as an adult. I always tried to win his love, but I’d get shut down. As years went by I resented him because he never gave me a reason to like him. The feeling seemed to be mutual. I remember when he was sick and days before his passing he was kinda sorta acknowledging me. I was a bitter teenager and didn’t care because I felt like it was too late and at this point I was very detached. I wasn’t his biggest fan, but I cried at his funeral. I cried wishing we could’ve had a connection yet I was relieved that he wasn’t going to treat me poorly any longer. Even until this day I only see him as a mere stranger in my life. He was nothing but just a mean old man towards me. We never connected and unfortunately I don’t miss him one bit.
Back to my maternal grandfather…It’s odd for me to feel such greater sadness for a man that I’ve never met. It even gets me a bit teary eyed when I think about him. The love I feel from my mom’s side can’t even come close at all from my dad’s side. My maternal grandmother, uncles, aunts and cousins has treated me so well and I can only imagine that my grandfather would’ve loved me just as much as they do. When my mom shares stories with me about him, like how he really adored one of my cousins, I can only imagine what it would’ve been like. He never got a chance to come to America, but he apparently really wanted to try cheese. Apparently, he had a weird fascination with what cheese would’ve tasted like lol. I thought it was really odd yet cute and funny that that was what he wanted to do if he was to ever come.
I really don’t know why I’m even writing about him. A man that I’ve never met before. Deep down ever since I was little it always made me really sad that we never got to meet. I felt like he could’ve been there to protect me and my mom. He’s just been on my mind a lot and I don’t know why. I hope that I can visit his grave one day in China.
So strange to love and miss someone so much that you’ve never met…