I miss my grandfather so much. It's been almost three years since he passed away, but it still feels unreal. I always feel like he's still here, just like before. I'm studying and working away from home, but my grandfather is always at home.
As long as he was there, he could always come up with a thoughtful solution for anything. This love was constantly flowing from his birth to his adulthood, to the point where he forgot that people would die. Sometimes, living day after day, worrying about trivial matters, I forget that people will die.
When I was a child, my grandfather's house was a bungalow across from the middle school. I spent many weekends there. I would buy an ice cream wrapped in oil paper from a vendor who carried a foam box covered with a quilt on his back, and then take a porcelain bowl from the cupboard to eat the ice cream.
Next to the stove, there was a large jar for storing water. My younger brother and I liked to cool off, so we often ignored the adults and directly scooped water to drink with a copper ladle from that jar.
I liked the kang (a traditional Chinese heated bed) at my grandfather's house. Even though there were a few aunts who came to visit one time and we all slept on the same kang, it was so crowded that I got squeezed. But most of the time, I could freely roll around on the kang. Across from the kang were two large cabinets, traditional furniture. I never opened them and I wasn't curious. I only saw my grandmother occasionally open them to take out clothes.
Looking back, I realized that my grandfather had a hidden illness at that time. He always coughed at night, and his lungs didn't feel clear. At that time, we didn't pay much attention and just thought it was because he smoked too much.
The house and the shops on the street were back to back, separated by a wall. Behind my grandfather's house was a restaurant, and sometimes I could hear the sound of pots and pans, as well as the voices from the kitchen. I was curious and tried to listen to what they were saying, but it was too muffled and I couldn't make out anything.
My grandfather always wore a hat when he went out during the day, either navy blue or black, with a brim. Last year, I watched a documentary from 1972 by an Italian director named Antonio, which documented the appearance of China at that time. When I saw the streets and people in it, I realized that my grandfather's hat was actually a popular style back then.
During the day, my grandfather would go out to do his things. Sometimes he would come back in the afternoon, or in the evening, and he would take me to sit on the steps of the shops by the street to watch the cars. Looking back now, there weren't as many cars and people as there are now. There were only sporadic cars and people passing by. We didn't talk much, just focused on watching the cars. I never cared about what my grandfather was thinking at that time. Maybe he was thinking about how to realize his plan of raising sheep (he loved raising sheep. After leaving that house, he went to the countryside to raise many sheep, and then he moved to a suburban yard closer to my house to raise some sheep. In the last two years, when his health declined, he stayed in the town for a while). I just sat next to my grandfather, feeling safe, and didn't think about anything while watching the road.
My grandfather never tried to teach me anything or give me lectures. He never asked me, "What do you want to be when you grow up?" or told me to "behave well." He just loved. Many years later, I realized that this love quietly and powerfully nurtured me to face the unknown life after he was gone.
When it got dark at my grandfather's house, we would come up to the kang. Sometimes we watched TV, sometimes we didn't. My grandfather could perform magic tricks with playing cards, and he could do many different ones. He would amaze me, and I would be both annoyed and stomping my feet, asking him how he did it. He wouldn't reveal the secret, just smiled. If there was a time machine in the future, I really want to go back to that moment! My grandfather could still walk briskly, perform magic tricks, and cook delicious food for me. I would laugh and play around, feeling like I would never grow up.
The anniversary of his passing is coming soon, and my grandfather is reborn in my memories. I hope he can say goodbye to pain, decay, and exist in a more free and happy form in some corner of the universe. I hope that corner can also receive signals from Earth.