Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Grandma in My Heart

My brother and I loved to read and collect mangas when we were in our schooling days.

One of the mangas that my brother collected was Doraemon. I think he bought and kept almost all the series, 44 or 48 books in total. Although my preference back then was the kind of manga that features lovey dovey stories, big eyes pretty girls and handsome guys with dark hair, sharp eyes and chin, I also enjoyed reading my brother's Doraemon mangas for years as well.

One of the stories in Doraemon mangas that caught me best was perhaps the story of Nobita's time travel to one sunny day when he goes back to a time when his granny's still alive. In that story, Nobita goes home and is happily welcomed by his grandma (who in reality had passed away when Nobita was in kindergarten). Granny asks him who he is. He explains to her that he is Nobita from the future. She welcomes Nobita with her warmest and kindest smile ever. Both of them have a good chat and even drink tea together if I remember the story correctly. Before Nobita leaves to present day, he hugs and falls asleep on his grandma's lap.

When Nobita time travels back to present day, he tears up when he realizes his Grandma had indeed long gone but his heart is overflowing with warmth as he reunites with his late Grandma one more time.

I literally cried when I finished reading these particular comic strips featuring Nobita and his lovely grandma. When I read the story, I thought of my own grandmothers and the potential that I won't be able to see them forever again one day, just like Nobita.

My paternal grandma on her healthy days, circa 2004-05.

Back in those manga reading days, both of my grandmothers were still alive and healthy so after I felt the sadness and heartache that Nobita feels after briefly meeting his late grandmother, I dashed to find my grandma (whom I lived with) and spent some good time with her. That time, I still felt secured because my both grandmas were (luckily) still around. At least, the one that doted me so much and the one that I cared deeply was still at home with me then.

The last picture I had with my Grandma circa 2011.

Fast forward to years later, I have now lost one of my doting grandmas. I still miss her every now and then. Seeing her pictures makes me feel so emotional and any memories of her could easily make my eyes well up. I wish Doraemon's a space-time travel tunnel was not just a figment of imagination and I could borrow it so I could go back to the days when my frail and petite grey haired granny was still alive and do all the simple daily underrated things we often did together again, for just one more time.

Alas, Fujiko Fujio knew it better. Without the time portal he fantasized, we can only meet our departed loved ones in our dreams. Once you wake up and the reality snaps back, what's left is the pang of heart ache and perhaps some regrets.

How I terribly miss the good old days with my granny now.

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