Edward Lee Remembers NaiNai, his Grandma Yee-Jung Lee


    I guess I could take this time to say all the things that one expects from someone who’s up here but I’ll spare you that.   
    For as long as I remember, my parents both worked.  So, when the school day was over it was my grandmother’s place that I came back to and called home.
    I remember each day walking to her house from the bus stop and looking forward to whatever food she prepared for me that day.
    I think this sort of routine carried on until the 8th grade.
    I would get something to eat, settle in and get prepared to do that day’s homework on the dining table. 
    As was my wont, I would be a troublemaker—causing her no small headache.  She was always patient and good-natured about it, even when I managed to get on her last nerve. 
    Now that I think about it, though, it never really occurred to me (and I can’t seem to remember) what she did while I was studying or causing a ruckus. 
    But, there were always—always—great aromas wafting through the kitchen. 
    So, I guess that’s what she was doing when I was around after school—cooking; both for me and my exhausted parents when they came to pick me up from work that day. 
   And, I guess…that’s what grandmothers do—they cook for you and take care of you in the way that only they can. 
    Because her home was small, it was always warm and toasty at her house in the wintertime.    
    You know, in the end it’s the little things that I remember. 
    That’s what it’s always about because, while this may all sound banal and everyday, it’s what I remember best because it was in the day-to-day and the ordinariness of it all that I experienced a grandmother’s—my grandmother’s—great and encompassing love. 

    No overtures, no grandiose gesture—because, although it might be suitable for others, she was much simpler than that in her life and what she expected from it.
    I think I speak for at least a few of you when I say I wished she smiled more or that she was happier. 
    But, I don’t know if that’s fair as I think everyone experiences and expresses joy in different ways.
    Because she lived a life of sacrifice and self-abnegation, it seemed that she was always putting her own needs aside for those of other people. 
    I think it’s all too easy for me to forget that, aside from being my grandmother, she was also someone’s mother, someone’s wife…someone’s friend.
    And, as someone’s mother she sacrificed what she had to raise three sons by herself—sons that, when you look at them and the men they’ve become, undoubtedly make her happy, joyful and proud when it matters the most. 
    It’s so true that we always wish for what we never had.  All the could-ofs, all the would-haves. 
    I wish I had spent more quality time with her when it counted but…it’s okay because she knows—grandmothers just have a way of knowing. 
    You know, she would love how her family and friends have gathered here like this. 
    I think that’s what happens when someone you love passes on…it brings everyone together.
    She’d be proud of this moment right here.

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我们所爱的人去世时﹒ ﹒ ﹒往往促成这种团聚。

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