So I always wanted to put this poem on my blog but I… forgot.
But it’s all good since I remembered!
So this poem is the one I read at my grandma’s funeral and it just so happens that it’s an adaptation of a blog post I wrote.
So a little backstory…
During emotional moments or any special moments like birthdays, celebrations, I kinda forget my emotions and how people have made me feel. So when my aunt, the person who organized my grandma’s funeral, asked me to read a poem… all my family thought I was gonna just get a random one from the internet. They were gladly mistaken cause I mean it’s me. But my extended family don’t really know this side of me.
Anyway, when my aunt asked me to write a poem I wasn’t sure if I would put everything I wanted to say in it because my mind was sorta elsewhere that week. So I looked here cause I knew I wrote a post about her in the past and I wanted to build off of that.
So I found the post I was looking for: my Grandma
And I worked on it to make it present tense and yeah I read it at her funeral. I wanted to put that poem here because this is where all my memorable poems are so here it is…
One day while I was sitting with my grandma, I chose to see things I didn’t notice before.
Her eyes. The wrinkles. The eye bags. I wonder how much she has seen. How much pain, how much strife she experienced. How many tears probably streamed onto her cheeks. I thought of her sister, my great-aunt, how much I saw her cry. How much she probably still cries, not just for her but for all the loses she has experienced. How many people she has seen. How many she has met. I wonder how much her eyes have seen. The journeys, the adventure, even a little chaos.
Her hair. How black blends with gray, and over the years gray has taken over. You could notice that strands have already fallen out. Yet, she still takes care of her hair. Putting oil, combing through it, and putting it into two braids. Right and left. Nothing complicated, just two braids. Her curls that she combs through. The curls that are the by-product of my waves. Whenever I would do a certain hairstyle, she always tells me she did that same hairstyle when she was younger. She would always tell me how she thinks my hair is pretty.
Her arms. Her fingers. How they’ve grown wrinkly and somewhat weak. Her fingers are always shaking. Although her fingers seem weak, her arms seem to be strong to me. She does carry a lot. She’s always bringing food for us while carrying two bags. I wonder how many times she’s had to lift herself up. Or has had to lift someone else up. How many times her hands have lifted, praying to the Lord, her best friend.
Her clothes. Her sari. Come to think of it, I can barely think of a time she doesn’t wear a sari. Other than, when she’s cooking or on vacation with us. No matter how old she gets, she can always wrap a sari gracefully without anything falling or looking out of place.
Her smile. I will always admire her for this. No matter what, she always has a smile on her face. Her laugh is so contagious. She never looks mad at me, even when I yell at her. In fact, one day, when I was feeling down, she told me that I should just smile. That happiness is what you need in life for it to be fulfilled. Her words. She really knows what she’s saying. Even though some people might not see it that way. How much passion she has for the things that she loves. When she teaches others about the Bible, her eyes lit up. Her words flowed. She could literally talk about it for hours, and not get bored. That’s what amazes me. She’s so passionate about the things she loves and uses that passion to teach others.
Today this is how I see my grandmother…
Her faith. 33 times. She read the Bible 33 times. She led her life with faith. She made sure to bring God with her into every room, into every step, into every crack of her life. I never saw her question God once. No matter what, in happiness or strife, she would always call out to God. She had so much faith that if she saw us today she wouldn’t understand why our eyes are full of tears because she knew God has something better planned for us and I know she’s ready. She always said “Don’t worry. Just pray to God. Everything will be alright”
Her bravery. She read the verse “Do not fear, for I am with you” 33 times and you could tell she applied it to her life. Fear never even touched her once. Her soul. Her mindset. Her personality. It all showed the image of a courageous human being. She didn’t get anxiety. She could talk to anyone and everyone. She wasn’t afraid of not knowing what life has in store for us. Because she knew, no matter what happened God would be there in the beginning and end.
Her compassion. My grandma never had any hate for anybody. Her heart was full of love and love only. Even if one of us were angry or yelled at her, she wouldn’t hold a grudge. Forgiveness was an ordinary quality for her. She believed we could forgive anyone, no matter what they did. Forgiveness is tricky… But she made it seem so easy.
Herself. What do I say that I haven’t said above? She was the living version of a good soul that God depicts in the Bible. She made me feel safe, worthy of her love, and she made me feel like, even through my darkest moments, I could live a happy life. Because happiness isn’t about what’s happening to you or how life rewards you. Even in her lowest days, my grandma chose to smile and pray. She taught me that happiness is a state of mind. It doesn’t have to come to you one day, you can just have it. She always told me to just smile when I was having a bad day or didn’t want to talk because my smile is beautiful. Now, whenever I smile I can think of her.
I thought of how much she’s been through and although she only made it to 8th grade, she’s so wise. She has seen things. She has experienced a lot. She has met a lot of people. She has been through a whirlwind of change. She has fought. She has cried. She has questioned. She has just lived.
I love my grandma. And although she might not know it, she is a big role model for me. I just wish that someday my eyes will hold as much experience that I saw in her eyes that day… and as I grow, I hope to have the same faith I saw radiate in her every day.