My paternal Grandmother has passed away earlier last week. I’m trying very hard not to mention Google Reader in the same sentence, but let’s just say that both have major impact in my life. Of course, I will forever remember my Grandmother. That’s something I can’t say for some throwaway web 2.0 product and its shitty product managing company. Nor does it seem appropriate to really talk about both in the same breath, but that’s the point I want to make here.
The passing of my Grandmother is a milestone, a turning point for my family. For the longest time my dad’s side of the family ran a lot like a traditional Chinese household, with my grandparents in the center. When my grandfather passed away about 12 years ago (March 2011), my grandmother never really got over it fully. It caused her to have some very severe bouts of depression and that was the underlying drive to worsen her health. Basically took down a perfectly healthy woman (despite having bouts with cancer twice) over the course of 12 years. Sure, she also turned 88 this year, but there’s something to be said of long-living, old Chinese people.
The truth is that she and her husband were really like one person. She poured out her life for him and for their children. And to the best of their responsibilities in this first world country, her children did as much as they could for her over that span. It was tough to deal with a person who has lost her center, at least in this world. So that became a difficult time for a lot of my family, especially towards the end of that 12-year cycle.
But with all the children having their own homes, the “familial” center is now just a house. There are now way fewer reasons for the family to gather together again. And thus we have all become all that much more American overnight, perhaps.