My AMA (grandma) passed away last September 21 at Cardinal Santos. She was 88 years old. She passed away in the company of relatives (sons, daughters, nieces, nephews, and grandkids) and friends. There are no words to say how thankful we are for the extra 2 years that we got to spend with her. She was there when we got engaged and married. Although she didn’t get to see our baby Warren, she was alive when he was born. She also held on for the birth of baby Brie (born sept 18/19), my cousin’s daughter (based in Canada).
My AMA was a strong willed woman. I remember the times when she was taking care of us (my parents were in Baguio for my mom’s annual conference), she would give us a glimpse of her life story – how she escaped from China with unbound foot on a boat to travel to the Philippines and how she raised 5 kids when my angkong died early. In 2008, when she contracted pe tsua (herpes zoster or herpes simplex) and got slightly better, she arranged all her finances and distributed them already.
My AMA was a great cook. Since we lived with her, we got to taste all her cooking. I will definitely miss her kiampong, black chicken, Ang hi, siomai, fish ball, sopas, tim neng, steamed pork, and other Chinese and fusion dishes. My regret is that I didn’t learn from her cooking.
My AMA was a great mom. She was a great mom to my father, uncles and aunties. Everyone would listen and obey her. She was compassionate yet she can be iron-fisted when required.
My AMA was a devout Buddhist. I grew up with a temple in our backyard. During certain days of the month, people would often visit the temple, pay their respects, and eat vegetarian meals prepared by my AMA or my aunts. She would annually go on a pilgrimage tour to Lam Hai. During my first Lam Hai tour with her, she would narrate stories on how years before, they would have to walk the whole stretch just to reach the temple. Hence, I should not complain if the roads were bumpy and unpaved because at least now, we can drive to the temple.
I will terribly miss my AMA but I do know that she’s looking down on us and she will continue to guide and take care of us. She lived a celebrated life and touched the hearts of all those she met. She found contentment, happiness and peace. We love you AMA!