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I love you, my grandparents Printable Version PRINTABLE VERSION
by Vo Thi Thao Nguyen, Vietnam Dec 8, 2005
Child & Youth Rights   Short Stories


Some of my friends often say that I am very lucky because my grandparents (paternal and maternal) are alive even though they are over 75. However, I lived with my paternal grandparents when I was born until I left my hometown for HCMC, Vietnam; therefore, I had many sweet memories with them. I love them very much. My paternal grandmother was the most beautiful woman in her village and had a nice smile, as I was told.

During the 12 years I lived with her, there were so many memories about her that I cannot forget. She adored Caûi Löông (Reformed theatre) and so did I. At that time, we often stayed awake until 12pm to watch Cai Luong at an outside theatre; but sometimes, I couldn’t keep my eyes open to watch a whole play and slept on her arm. Later, she would carry me on her back to our home.

My paternal grand mom was a painstaking woman. She performed many trades: selling fish, vegetables or fruits at a village market, and specially stewed maizes. She often awoke at 3 am to prepare and cook it; and then, she would bring it to the market. Many people liked her stewed maizes because she cooked it very well and sold it at a low price. She doesn’t cook it any more, as she is not strong enough: she is 76 now. In HCMC, I ate it many times, but it was not as delicious as my grand mom had made it, so I tell her to teach me how to cook it and I will make it popular in HCMC!

I remember that when I was a child of 8 or 9 years old, she asked me to pull out her white hair and she paid me 500VND for 10 white hairs! Great, I liked it, with 500VND I could buy candies or biscuits; so I tried pulling out as many as I could - a funny memory! In the old days, because of narrow circumstances, she could not study further; she regretted this. When visiting me in HCMC, she often told me to teach her English: she likes studying, which I admire her for.

As for my paternal grandfather….how should I express how I feel? I really, really, really love him, although he is very strict and conservative. He often told me many fairy tales at night; or sometimes, we lied on a mat at an outside courtyard, looked up to the night sky, looked at the stars, the moon and sang together: he sang the prewar songs and I sang the children’s ones.

On the night I left my hometown with my parents, I cried so much and they did as well. I cried during the 4 hour journey to HCMC; at nights, I could not sleep and cried again - I missed them: my grandparents, my friends and my village. I am the eldest granddaughter and I also study well; therefore, he always reminds me to try to study hard; be a successful person in the future: he is so proud of me. He often tells me: “You are a grandchild that I love and trust completely, please don’t make me sad and disappointed. I’ll try to be alive until I see you are mature and successful in your life, and then I will die peacefully…” Every time he says that, I cannot keep my tears, and I promise him I will do my best to make him happy. I always remember his words and it is my powerful motivation to keep studying.
I love you: my grandparents.



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Vo Thi Thao Nguyen

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