I’m a 100% believer that 2020 is a year of growth. Whether it is you growing into who you want to be or you growing with the lessons life throws at you. You are growing and you really do need to give yourself credit for that. My 2020 sure has been unforgiving; having gone through so many emotions, I often question myself how I’m still standing. It still mind boggles me that we are already half way through the year. But if there was one thing 2020 has taught me, it is that time is one hell of a bitch and something you should never fuck with.
Just about 2 weeks ago my Grandmother, or rather my Great Aunt who I considered my Grandmother, passed on. She was 93 years old and she actually celebrated her birthday because we’re in a leap year. Can you believe that!? 93 years on this earth! One thing I loved about my grandmother is that she was pretty much fearless. She was the first to migrate here to the United States from my mother’s side. She supported her family she left back home as best as she could on a teacher’s salary. When my mom came here to the United States after college, my Grandmother took her in. I heard stories here and there about them and how they enjoyed their time together. Sometimes they went fishing and they often went to church to thank God for their many blessings or they would just stay home and cook together or watch TV.
Soon after, my dad came to the US and a few years later my parents had my sister and I. Of course, my Grandmother took care of my sister and I. From babies, to kids, to teenagers, then finally into adulthood, she was always present. I still remember all the times my sister and I would spend with her. She gave me my love of books and writing. She was often the one who helped my sister and I with our reading and writing homework. Then for one reason or another, she started to teach me Tagalog. “SHE’LL LEARN ENGLISH WHEN SHE GOES TO SCHOOL!” That’s what she always would say to my parents whenever she taught me a new phrase or words. AND NO! I DIDN’T LEARN THE BAD WORDS FIRST!!
My favorite memories are her reading my stories or writing pieces for my English classes. She was my biggest critic, but also my number one fan. Growing up, I never really had to much validation from many people. Whether it would be from family or friends, I never really felt valued. Even until now, I still feel like I’m in the shadows in many ways. But when it came to my Grandmother, I was the apple of her eye. No matter what I did, I was always the shining star in her dark sky. I felt special, but most of all, I felt loved. I felt like I mattered to someone.
Receiving the news of her passing hurt me so much. Ever since then, all I would do is spend time doing other things to keep my mind from running towards the thought she’s not around. I would study for hours (by the way I’m back in school), or I would read a book, talk to my family, or even just sleep. It was better than being awake and remembering my confidant is gone. Emotions often come flooding in when I’m alone. One day I just sat in my room, alone in this big house, and I just let myself cry. I let myself feel all over again. I allowed myself to grieve, to miss her, and to remember her.
When I often remember her, I stop crying and smile. She was so strong. She did so much for this family by coming here all by herself. On top of that, she rarely ever complained. I looked back on the life she lived and how she really never wasted her time here on earth. She was fearlessly ruthless with her time. She knew it was borrowed because she was God fearing and she certainly never wasted time.
After reflecting and slowly moving on to the stage of acceptance, I’m starting to see that time is something we all can never gain back. It is one of the most expensive things we have right in front of us and we really do take it for granted. It really doesn’t surprise me that even after her death, she’s showing me little life lessons. Now I just need to make sure that I’m constantly reminding myself to just… live.
So, go ahead and take that job, move to that state, study that language, go back to school, talk to your crush, try something new and never look back. Be fearless in all you do, just like how Lola Carr was. ❤
Until my next adventure….