Yesterday was the day my grandfather on my mother’s side passed away 3 years ago. 2 years ago, my aunt on my father’s side passed away in May, too.
In Korea, May is a month to manifest gratitude to your family members. May 5th is the Children’s Day which is a national holiday: holiday that kids wait for a whole year and not so restful holiday for parents who have to please their children. All amusement parks are packed with excited kids who are ready to be served as kings and queens at least for a day. In return, May 8th is the Parents’ Day. There is a tradition of giving carnation flowers to parents on this day. Korean fellows in our house were eager to order flower deliveries online this year.
For the past 3 years, May has been a brutal month for me personally, having to let go of my precious relatives. (Last year, I was hit by a car myself around this time of the year.) This year nothing happened so far fortunately. I feel like my May jinx is finally breaking.
However, I am still not fully ready to accept the fact that my own grandparents are leaving for good. My grandmother on my mother’s side passed away early this year right after I arrived here, during the orientation week of Global Leadership Lab. Poor mom officially became an orphan. And in absence of her parents, she seems to aspire to replace that emptiness with the pleasure that grandchildren can bring. I feel sorry that I can not meet her expectations, but my justification is that I let her fulfill her maternal instincts toward my dearest cats, Nala and Yolo.
My grandfather on my father’s side has been very sick lately. His liver is hardening with age. He has been hospitalized more often than he visits barber shop. My dad just informed me that my grandfather has been having trouble eating more than couple of spoons a meal.
Not being able to do anything about it, I feel extremely restless. I am terrified that I may not be able to pay him back what I owe him. Working at the hearing aids company, I thought I would be contributing to senior citizens’ welfare. Did I? Even if I did, shouldn’t I prioritize my grandparents before elders in general? I am not sure how much I dedicated to be a good granddaughter though.
“Humans are mortal beings. That is the cycle of life. It is the principle of nature. You should accept this now.” My dad comforted me when I had to deal with my grandfather on my mother’s side passed away at the funeral. Yes, I should accept this now.

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