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December 2009 Archives

December 2, 2009

Goodbye Grandma

Grandma's 97th Birthday.

This photo was taken back in March of this year, the 14th to be exact. My grandmother's 97th birthday celebration. It was the most wonderful birthday celebration for my grandmother. Sadly she's been sick shortly after that and I've been going home to visit her almost every weekend. The last time I saw her was Thanksgiving and this past Saturday. She's been bedridden since May and every time I part, I would give her a kiss on the forehead. "I will see you next weekend grandma!"

She holds the dearest in my heart. Sometimes even more so than my mother and father, for my grandmother raised me when I was born. Both my parents had to work so my grandmother took care of the four grandchildren. She is everything to me. My grandma taught me how to stand up for myself yet to be fair to others. She taught me not to sigh for it is a show of 'weakness'. She taught me how to be an individual and to never give up on the things I value and cherish. She taught me how to have hope. She taught me how to be who I am today... She taught me all these things even though she wasn't fortunate to have had any education of her own. I owe everything to her. This day on, my life will never be the same. I love you very much grandma.

I will always miss you!

December 3, 2009

Death Is Nothing At All [Revisit]

Death is nothing at all--I have only slipped away into the next room. I am I, and you are you. Whatever we were to each other, that we still are. Call me by my old familiar name, speak to me in the easy way you always used. Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow.

Laugh as we always laughed at the little jokes we enjoyed together. Play, smile, think of me, pray for me. Let my name be ever the household word that it always was. Let it be spoken without the ghost of a shadow on it. Life means all that it ever meant... There is absolute unbroken continuity.

What is death but a negligible accident? Why should I be out of mind because I am out of sight?

I am waiting for you--for an interval--somewhere near just around the corner.

All is well.

Nothing is past; nothing is lost. One brief moment and all will be as it was before. How we shall laugh at the trouble of parting when we meet again!

Text: Henry Scott Holland


Currently listening:
Imee Ooi - Tranquility

December 6, 2009

On Entering—Living In—Leaving the World [Revisit]

The March of Time.

Man, you enter the world reluctantly, crying, as a forlorn babe;
Man, you leave this life, deprived again, crying again, with regret.
Therefore live this life in such a way that none of it is really wasted.
You have to become accustomed to it after not having been accustomed to it.
When you have become accustomed to it, you will have to become used to being without it. Mediate upon this contention.
Die, therefore, "before you die," in the words of the Purified One.
Complete the circle before it is completed for you.
Until you do, unless you have—then expect bitterness at the end as there was in the beginning; in the middle as there will be at the end.
You did not see the pattern as you entered; and when you entered—you saw another pattern.
When you saw this apparent pattern, you were prevented from seeing the threads of the coming pattern.
Until you see both, you will be without contentment—
Whom do you blame? And Why do you blame?

Text: Hashim the Sidqi, on Rumi


The above was my very first blog entry back from January of 2003... Today is my grandmother's funeral. She's been widowed for more than 75 years. After my grandfather's death from cancer, grandmother took care of her three girls [also her grand AND great-grand children] all these years. I remember every time I visited her since she's been bedridden, under her tiny breaths she would ask me whether I had eaten lunch yet, if I wore enough warm clothing, or to make sure for me to drive home early before dark. She was always so caring and thoughtful to others, yet stubborn 'til the very end. I hope somehow she and my late grandpa can finally reunite. The thought only comforts me, but no one knows but the moon and the stars...

People say that life is but a mere reflection of death. Can't have one without the other. At what cost to simply exist? People also say that death is a 'celebration' of life itself. So rejoice! The dead don't want to hear no crying. Don't cry for me for I'm only near yet one can't see.

No crying. I understand—I do. But why am I still doing so...

December 7, 2009

Untitled 0173


Southern California is usually bright, sun-shiny and warm, but this morning it's cold, wet and dreary. And I don't mind it at all.


Currently listening:
John Foxx & Harold Budd - Here And Now

December 15, 2009



Here is a photo of my mother watching her own mother being put beneath the earth. Gone is the vessel. My grandmother was cremated yesterday. We took one last look at her and then we parted. My mother has always been a hard-headed, stubborn woman. Seldom I've heard her cry but it was never like this. She was whimpering and saying the words "Ma-Ma!" as if she was a little girl again. It was heartbreaking. My mother lost her father when she was six and all she had was her 2 little sisters and her mother. But she will remain strong; just like her own mother.

I cried like a baby yesterday. In the end, the man who was tending the cremation service asked if any one of us would like to 'press the button'. We declined. For me, I just can't do it. I kept reminding myself that it's only a body that used to be my grandmother. No more. No less. Ashes to ashes. Dust to dust...

I didn't cry all that much this afternoon for I did most of it on my way to the service. There is no more pain and suffering for my grandmother. I believe that life/death goes around in an enigmatic circle... She's at peace and I look forward to seeing her again in the future.


The photo above is one of many of my grandmother that I took with my phone. Before the hospital bed arrived, I used to hang out with her on her bed and we both would watch TV together. I made this big photo album for her full of pictures of everyone she knows. This particular page that she's looking at are photos of my grandfather's grave site back in China. I also bought her the ducky on that table for her birthday, and next to that is a 'self-portrait' photo of my grandmother and I back in 2001. I still remember that day. I gave her a small 'interview' and recorded it with my little point-n'-shoot camera. In the video I asked her about her family... About her own father and mother, and the war...

Death is inevitable. But what does that make life? What came before life itself? Today I think of such questions but I need not know the answers. They will come to me one day...

Today was a sad day, but it was also a good day. A day of remembrance! Have a good night everyone and take great care of yourselves and one another.

xo, r

December 22, 2009

Holiday Music

Christmas 2009.

Finally I made a Christmas/Holiday CD for Alec [and myself]. It's a hodgepodge of tracks. Maybe it'll give me a boost of the holiday spirit. Dunno. *shrug*

Have a listen... It's on the radio to the right. If I'm not back by Thursday, I wish you all a very happy, safe, and a loving Christmas holiday this year!

xo, r


Currently listening:
Sarah McLachlan - River

December 23, 2009

Untitled 0174*

Currently listening:
The Raveonettes - Christmas [Baby Please Come Home]

December 31, 2009


Peace to all.

Currently listening:
The Hotel Cafe - Auld Lang Syne [Charity Medley]

About December 2009

This page contains all entries posted to The Beauty of All Things in December 2009. They are listed from oldest to newest.

November 2009 is the previous archive.

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