Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Good Bye, Grandpa. You'll be missed.

My grandfather in Vietnam (my mom's side) has just passed away. I got the call this morning as I was about to leave for work. I knew he had been a little sick, but last thing I heard was that he was getting better.

My grandmother, on the other hand, had a stroke and was in the process of recovering. I'm not sure if I need to return to Vietnam. I don't think I'll be able to. It costs anywhere from $2000 to $6000 just for the ticket and my passport is expired. Mom will be leaving in the next day or 2 to return. I don't think I can renew my passport that quickly.

I'm taking the morning off just so I can clear my head and compose myself to focus on my job. Right now, it's a little hard to do. It was a rather nasty shock this morning.

I remember going back to Vietnam for a visit several years ago. My grandfather was sick back then, and my mom wanted for us to see him before he possibly passed. I like to think that it was because we showed up that gave him about 10 more years to enjoy. The visit was great. I'm only 5'11". Over there, I was a giant. My grandfather was so proud that everyone who came by the house he would tell them to look at me. "That boy is OVER 1.8 meters tall." He looked at my size 11.5 basketball shoes and laughed as he tried them on over his sandals. He told everyone to look at him as he tried to jump with them on. Imagine the sight of an old Vietnamese man barely 5 feet tall trying on 11.5 basketball shoes. Everyone got a kick out of it.

Y'all remember the movie The Karate Kid? Remember when Mr. Miyagi was trying to catch the fly with the chopsticks? Okay, well my grandfather didn't actually catch flies. He used chopsticks to smack at them. My sisters called him Mr. Miyagi for that one.

We actually brought them over here a couple years ago. We took them to the typical tourist places. But what did they want to take pictures of? The freeway overpasses. They had never seen anything like that. It's amazing the things we take for granted here.

Bye, Grandpa. I miss you already.