Shengliver’s Note: A family reunion on Qingming rekindles Miss Gan Xue’s memory of her grandparents.


For the Qingming Festival, we had two days off. I went back to my hometown Fangxian on a visit to my grandma. Nearly 80 years old as she is, she is still as fit as a fiddle. It is her conviction that as long as she is alive, she should do something to share her time. Grandma chooses to plant a garden, whose vegetables are often given away to her sons and daughters. When she is free she helps my aunt to babysit the great-granddaughter.


In my childhood my parents were busy working to support the family. Therefore I spent much of my childhood with my grandparents. I will never forget those days. I had never thought my grandma would be getting old, but looking at her grey hair I could not but admit time flies.


My grandpa left us two years ago. The day he passed away, I did not cry. I knew he had gone where there was no pain for him. He had suffered so much. When he was about 20 years old, he became a schoolmaster working at a school in the mountains. The school was so far away from his home that a single trip on foot would take him roughly three days. He worked at the school for 25 years. When he was helping with the construction of the schoolhouse one year, he had his spine injured. He ended up bedridden for one year and a half. In order not to disturb our life, my grandma looked after him around the clock.


When I stayed with them as a child, I loved strawberries a lot. Therefore my grandpa raised strawberries in his garden. Though most of the fruits in the garden were not big nor very sweet, I am sure they were the best in the world.


I miss my grandpa very much, but he is gone. I could not love my grandma more. Perhaps I will not say “I love you” to my grandma, but I do love her. Sometimes unspoken love is truer; unsung heroes greater.


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