About Nancy: Goodbye Grandma

12 December 2011

Dear Brown Bag Fans...

I consider you more than fans but friends and with friends, it's so easy to pour out your soul.

It's been a while since I posted and it's probably because of a combination of things.  Mainly, my heart is somewhere else these days.

During the last two months, my entire family has been saddened as my grandmother fell gravely ill.  In mid September, she lost consciousness and was in coma for a period of time.  After two months of being on life support, my 99 year old feisty, brilliant, lovely grandmother(yes, my Ai Po was 99!!!) finally decided she wanted to go to heaven.

On Saturday, December 3rd, Ai Po(that's my nick name for my 4 ft 10 inches Chinese grandma) was placed beside my Ai Gong(that my grandpa!) in their side by side resting place.  

Looking back at my grandmother's life I know how remarkable she was. Though never formally educated, Ai Po grew up in Shanghai were women did not have careers and her main life aspiration was to "marry" and settle down.  After having 3 children, she endured several devastating wars in China during the 40's. Without the help of my grandfather who was away at war, she was forced to find a way to feed her children.  Though having very few skills, Ai Po decided that she would find her own food and prepare it for others during the war times. Taking her prepared meals, she would walk the streets selling her homemade dishes.  This is how my grandmother feed her family.  I only heard about this story from my aunt two years ago and never knew about the darker times in my grandmother's life because she never let it show on her bright and smiling face.

Another great thing about my grandmother was that she was not highly educated yet she willed herself to read.  The only book she ever read and owned was the Holy Bible. It was the one book she read every day of her life.  And you could often find her quoting things from the good old Bible.  Ai Po had a strong spirit and set her mind on never giving up even when she didn't know how to do things.

It's said in my family that I take after Ai Po.  You betcha!  I am equally short, tough, and I hope I have her entrepreneur spirit.

A couple things that I learned from Ai Po that I wanted to share with you(after all, my granny lived a long life so who better to follow!)

1. Walk everyday and everywhere.
My grandmother never learned to bike. And she definitely never drove.  The lady liked to use her two legs to stay fit.
2. Mediate Daily
She started her day with solitude and ended it the same way.
3. Eat lots of Organic green vegetables.
I don't think my granny ever used a microwave in her life.  And she frowned upon processed anything.  Even when she lived with us, my Ai Po loved to eat home cooked meals.
4. Wear a nice piece of jewelry.  Girl, you deserve.
5. Family is important.
6. Smile often. And if you don't know what people are saying, just nod your head.
7. Keep on learning.  Never give up.
8. Have amazing goals.
One of hers was to live to 100!  Well, she got pretty close.
9. Eventually, you get pretty old so you've got to forgive others or you won't have any friends left.
10.  God gave us two hands, so go make something!  Don't sit around.
My grandmother loved to cook.  What can you do with your hands?


Thank you for letting me share a little bit about my family.  God Bless!

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6 comments:

Jessica :: Delicatessen said...

I am so sorry for your loss. It looks like we could all learn something from your Ai Po. :)

jacqueline goldman said...

Nancy so sorry to hear about your grandma... she sounds like a wise lady who touched many with her wisdom.... now including me!! so true to forgive or else you wont have any friends left!! .... wishing your memories keep your heart warm x

Holly Chapple said...

Thanks for sharing this!! I heard my mother tell my children that their hands were tools and they needed to learn how to use them. We have to listen to our elders and follow in their path. Thank goodness you had your grandmother.

Nancy said...

Thank you Jessica, Jacqueline, Holly and so many more.....Granny was my hero and now she is my angel.

Janny said...

Thank you, Nancy. Your tribute was as beautiful as your Ai Po.

Rubin & Elaine said...

The life lessons you shared paint the picture of a beautiful grandmother who was dearly loved. our deepest condolences.

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