Even though it's not the most glamorous, the most modern or trendy, of all the places I've been Beijing will always beat out the rest because every bite of street food, every corner of my grandma's house, every familiar face I see reminds me of simple things, memories that feel new - things I always knew that I just, forgot. Although in my family I've never learned to fully embrace feelings of sorrow, death, struggles, affection, love, and vulnerability I'm learning as I get older that it's there for me to feel in my own way and in my own time. And as that times comes with my growth, I'll find so much strength and love and grace in my family.
This time, going home to Beijing was really special to me. It might very well be the last time I see my grandma, hear her stories about me, my sister, my dad, and my grandfather who passed away - to me those are the most precious things I can have. The inevitability of life and its end always feels so heavy - I reminisce and mourn for the loss of my grandpa, and his too early absence in my life as well as my grandma and dad's.
During our visit, we took a day to visit his tomb stone and as soon as we arrived my aunt started talking to him, telling him my sister and I were there to see him and asking him if he remembers how much he loved us - i felt an overwhelming rush of sadness and tears that I never reconciled with. The rest of the way home I couldn't stop thinking about the loss and how much I wish he could've seen me grow up into a young lady, how much he'd be proud of me and my sister - how amazing of a dad his son turned out to be. As we took the elevator back up to my aunt's apartment on the top floor, the doors open and in front of us stands a little girl being held by her grandpa, laughing. In that single moment I knew what it all meant, I knew it was going to be okay. Thank you.