Who are the people most important in your life now?
For me, it is always my parents, who are extremely loving, supportive and understanding in everything that I do. Growing up, I was much closer to my father and I admit that I still enjoy typical first born privileges, being the proverbial apple of his eye. Going into adulthood, I developed a closer relationship with my mother, who understood me as a woman, and is able advise on matters which only mothers and women can relate to.
I speak to my parents often and we share what is happening in our lives almost on a daily basis. I seek their advice, enjoy listening to them recount what they do at home, what they are cooking, eating, which tv series they follow, what is growing in their abundant garden and the various activities they do with friends and family. My parents have a much more active social life than I do, and it amuses me to no end the dramas they encounter. Oh, such is life in a small town!
I cherish moments and experiences with my parents and for many years, we vacation as a family together, sharing the love for travel and an adventure for food. My parents are quite well traveled and have an uncanny ability to find excellent food in peculiar places or restaurants all over the world. Whenever they visit, they bring my favorite home cooked dishes, lovingly prepared, along with a multitude of foodstuff to wreck my diet. I happily indulge as food is part of the love they share with me.
During this particular time of ancestral remembrance and worship, I fondly remember the grandparents who are no longer with us. My paternal grandfather was a gentle quiet man, who loved orchids, played the saxophone and knew how to perfectly butter toast. My paternal grandmother was a strong woman to be reckoned with when she was around, an amazing cook who enjoyed sipping on brandy and smoking cigarettes right up to a ripe old age and was generally very domineering in life; I believe I inherited some of her dominant personality traits. My maternal grandfather was a towering figure (literally) who also enjoyed cooking, experimenting in the kitchen and was a strong, wise man with a good sense of humor.
While I was present at both my grandfathers’ funerals, I did not attend my paternal grandmother’s funeral as she passed on and is buried in Australia. I pray to them, with gratitude of the years of having known them, for giving me wonderful parents, and with the belief that their spirits are at peace, and that they continue to watch over us as our guardian angels.
I am blessed to have an adorable maternal grandmother, who is 95 and lives with my parents. She constantly frets over all of us and worries that I would never settle down to get married. One time years ago in an attempt to guilt trip, she started crying, telling me that I should get married so that a man would “take care of me”. I was so shocked that my singlehood affected her so much. I had to explain to her that getting married is not the ‘end all and be all’ of a woman’s life, and that there is much more to life than having a man define who I am.
Citing examples of people she knew who have been in abusive relationships, married to men who are useless (i.e. cheaters, gamblers, alcoholics, unambitious lackwits, spineless doormats), I managed to convince my grandmother that it is better off for me to be single and happy than be married and miserable. Nevertheless, she still grumbles on why I have to be so picky in choosing a life partner, which I laugh off in good humor. Sometimes I remind her that my father has set the bar so high, it is hard for any man to measure up.
With love and gratitude to family who matter, Amen.