A Tuesday afternoon when I waited for the last bell of the day to ring,

Five minutes before it did my screen lit up with the desperate statement first.

Just one month before I would be able to visit her,

My grandmother waved her last goodbye to the world she spent eighty years in.

My grandmother, the woman who was always warm toward me, fell long asleep.

I could no longer gain wisdom from our daily discussions,

I could no longer learn life skills through everything she does.

Oh the delicious food she made,

Oh the times she “criticized” me with a smile,

Oh the bonds we had, the secrets we promised to keep from the rest of the family.

My grandmother, the woman who nurtured and cared for the entire family, fell long asleep.

China awaited me with her own grave when I went back,

The grey, hard stone, the last few dumplings that embedded the wrinkles in her hands, the empty left side of the bed in her and my grandpa’s room, the sometimes silenced room,

All of which made me able to feel her presence.

I know she would be looking at me from afar, blessing all of us in her big heart.

My grandmother, the woman with the kindest eyes and wisest minds, fell long asleep.

Photo Credit: April Zhang