Of Life, Death, and Ginger Beer


It’s been one of those years.  One of those years that’s so full that it feels like a thousand years jammed into a single, simple 365-day run.

So full that I don’t know where to begin.

I’ll just start somewhere and see where it ends up.

After all, that’s how most stories begin.

Trees in Napa (Cuvaison)

Forget the eloquence.  This entry is just a jumbled mound of text and emotions and confusion.  As usual.

So let’s begin.  My grandmother passed away last Friday.  In some ways, it was shocking.  It other ways, it was not.  I was never particularly close with my grandmother, mostly because of language and distance barriers.  She lived in Taiwan and spoke mostly Japanese or Hakka, while I live in the States, rarely go back to Taiwan, and can only speak English, Chinese, and pidgin Spanish.  She had been weak for years, requiring surgery after surgery, and she would lose her breath mid-sentence, stopping during conversations on the phone because she was too tired.

Her death wasn’t expected, but it was not unexpected.

Still, I am once again reminded of the fragility of our lives.  And of the people within them.

And I’m confused.  Confused about how I should react and how I should feel.  Saddened by the lack of closeness between my grandmother and myself.  And mildly annoyed about the entire set of circumstances I find myself in.

In the not so distant past, I recently took the California Bar exam.  Many people, after taking the exam, go on a “Bar Trip.”  That is to say, a trip after the Bar to celebrate and enjoy life before lawyerhood takes on a firm death-grip.  I had originally planned to go to Taiwan with some friends.  However, I decided against it.  It was too much money.  It was too tiring.  I needed a job to fund such trip.  I instead opted to fly back to the East Coast.

Turns out I’m going back to Taiwan, after all.

Funerals should never be a reason to go abroad.  My cousin’s family just returned to Taiwan for her own grandmother’s funeral.

Sigh.  Puts things in perspective.

BUT, for every death, there is LIFE.  My cousins in New Jersey just gave birth to an adorable baby girl.  Another set of cousins here in California are due for their first baby this October.  And yet another set of cousins just announced a baby to arrive in March.  Congratulations to them.  Much love.

So the Circle of Life continues.

And ginger beer kind of makes it all a little sweeter.  Some recent photos from my life (Napa Valley, Fillmore, Financial District, Sunset):

Bundaberg Ginger Beer

Bouchon Bakery, Napa Valley, California

Jane Cafe (Fillmore, San Francisco, California)- CappucinoFillmore Bakery (San Francisco, California)- French Macaron

Sunset Beach and Neighborhood, San Francisco, CaliforniaFinancial District, San Francisco, California


2 Responses to “Of Life, Death, and Ginger Beer”

  1. Great Photos !

  2. sorry about your grandmother, its hard when you have to make a trip, rather than becuase you want to.

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