June 8, 2020
Yeah, the best gift I ever received. If I fully scrutinized the full lists of all gifts I’ve ever received, I’m sure some other gifts would be in contention. However, I can certainly state that if I have to quickly scrape together a list of the top gifts I’ve ever received, this would make that list without hesitation. More importantly, upon receiving this gift, it made me feel a deep, powerful, shaking feeling that I had not felt in a long, long time.
My grandfather is someone who shaped my life to be full of opportunity and blessing, both in the manner of how he treated me directly and the sacrifices he made for me and my family when no one asked him too. When he passed away earlier this year, it left me in a place of passive, streaky devastation. Something that did not cripple me in the passing of everyday life, but an anchor that chose to sink at lonely, painful times. Still today, I can fully say the hurt is no less, but I’ve adapted to think about the fact in a way that despite still hurting like a b*tch, is better balanced by a somber thankfulness and celebration of his life in my heart. A few months after his passing, my girlfriend Lina gifted me with this dual photo frame by surprise. We had just met up after several months of long distance, and were about to enjoy a relaxing meal when she pulled out this gift enclosed in a small cardboard box. As I pulled the gift out of its box, my mind experienced a high static of shock for some instances - I think I was unable to properly process this juxtaposition of a light cheerful meal and this newly introduced photo frame that I felt so beautifully captured the story of my grandfather and me in the summary of two small photos. I took a few minutes to express my gratefulness, tried to nonchalantly look the other way to suppress some tears, and carried on with the light mood of the meal. As the rest of the evening carried on, I thought after how I had gotten some darn awesome gifts in the past few years, but nothing had come close to the value of this one. I am incredibly thankful to have this memoir to carry with me in all the living spaces I will inhabit for the rest of my life. To all the interactions this small frame may bring, whether in my children eventually asking about him or giving my family another physical tribute to remember him by, these are some of the moments in life that simply cannot be measured in value. One routine I’ve already noticed is myself glancing at this frame throughout the days, whether in the midst of tireless work meetings, preparing to play basketball, or simply grabbing clothes for a shower - and knowing & remembering the moments that beautifully painted this story of a integritable, honorable, loving man, and his lucky grandson. Until the next.