Saigon. Day -2.
“Do you have family here?” — asked the taxi driver.
I hesitated. “Not close family… Brother of my grandpa and his family who moved to Saigon long ago. I’ve lived here for 3 years but never visited them…”
The driver stared at me. “You may be young to understand. But family, no matter how close, hold your origin. Visit them.”
I sighed. “Sure… when I have time.”
“He looked and acted just like your grandpa. Maybe even like your father. Those men are the same: kind, stylish, stubborn, quiet.”
My aunt lovingly looked at me, then at the picture of Ong Ke — my late grandfather’s brother. He passed away few weeks earlier.
“Ong Ke always wanted to visit his home town. But he was too old. Said he would love children or grandchildren from the North to visit. But he wasn’t upset that no one did, he understood you all were busy. Everyone misses their childhood and family as they get older.”
It is painful I learned about regret this hard way. I abandoned my far-grandfather and didn’t see him before he died. I failed at being family to my own family.
Look at you, Giang. You resemble your grandfathers. You have kind smile, and you’re quiet. I think you will live for a very long time, just like them.