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About grannie

Dear Anne

At 2:52 am on 29 March, your dear grannie passed away peacefully in Hoping (Peace) Hospital.

I feel very sorry not to be able to accompany her to the last minute. I made my monthly 3-day visit last Thursday and left last Sunday morning.

At about 2 am on Monday the phone rang. In the past two years I have been scared to hear phone ringing after midnight. Over the phone I could hear my three sisters weeping.

Over the past months, actually, grannie often wanted me to stay longer every time I was leaving to go home. She warned that she could leave the world soon and would not be there to see me next time.

She twice asked me: "Let's shake hands" when I left her. I wanted to hug her, but she was frightened, as all her body and bones were too weak to stand my hugging. So I could only shake hands with her. I wish I had kissed her. She must have needed our embracing badly.

Yesterday, when your eldest aunt looked at all the clothes, things left behind by grannie, she cried a lot. When your youngest aunt tried to soothe her, both cried together.

I had not the slightest idea that she would fall into coma less than a day after I left her on 28 March. I should have stayed with her just one day longer so I could take her to hospital. Fortunately her three daughters rushed to be with her and called me.

I took the next coach to Taipei and saw her lying peacefully. I prayed and kissed her for the last time.

In Taipei we all thought of her hardships and hard times she had endured in the course of bringing us up.

In her later years she suffered illness painfully. She lost sight of one eye completely while the other eye was no good either. She could not hear well even with a hearing aid, and she lost all her appetite. She did not like to go outdoors in the past year. The last time we ate out together was a long time ago.

A memorial service will be held around 10 April in Taipei. Since she became a Christian over a decade ago, she would have a Christian funeral.

In Hsinchu, just beside late grandpa's tomb, she bought a piece of land and prepared a tomb for herself in 1997. She will be buried there when the memorial service ends.

There many things to be done, but this time your uncle (not the youngest one), who just returned from a trip to Japan, will help in Taipei.


1 April 2004 Thursday

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From left:
grandma, grandpa, dad
My grandmother was 94 when she died. She outlived my grandfather by 8 years.
Last time I saw her was May 2002.
She wanted to give me her hand-made pajamas, sweaters, and other things, all of which were too small for me.
One of the things I enjoyed most whenever I visited her was to climb into her big bed and take out the photo albums behind it. I never got tired of flipping through the same photo albums and asking the same questions: Who is that? What is this cousin or that uncle doing now? Where are they?
She married young and raised six children, the eldest of whom was my dad. She was fond of telling stories of the earlier days in Shanghai.
I admired her value of her independence and privacy, to such an extent that she insisted on locking her door when she took a nap. She read newspapers everyday and had an inquisitive mind.
Life is short. It's later than you think. Cherish those you love.
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Anne Ku at Ilp in May 2001
Anne Ku

writes about her travels, conversations, thoughts, events, music, and anything else that is interesting enough to fill a web page.
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