Grandpa’s Old Stomping Ground

my grandpa used to tell us war stories almost everyday at the dinner table growing up. I was a little boy and all I wanted to do is to finish what's in front of me so I can go back playing my toys.

my grandpa was a proud general.

his service was acknowledged by the president of Taiwan after he past away at the age of 100.

I remembered before his passing, I had the honor of bringing a championship plaque to his hospital bed and showed it to him.. "Grandpa look! First place! Break-Dancing! First place!!" 

It hurts you know? Seeing someone who you practically spent most of your time with when you were little... He'd walked me to school every morning, whenever I'm home telling me he can tell what I had at school by tapping on my stomach. 

He'd always yell out "爺爺的狗狗在哪裡! // Where's Grandpa's puppy?" Whenever he sees me,

And I'd reply:

"爺爺的狗狗在這裡!! // Grandpa's puppy is here!"

after his passing, I finally went back to Taiwan. First thing I did, dragging my heavy beat up bags into grandpa's room and just sat on his chair. I sat there, for a good hour or so. Empty, pure silence throughout the room. I couldn't really remember what I was thinking at the time. I opened the main drawer of his desk, and found a deck of China Airline playing cards heavily worn out from constantly shuffling over the years, alone. 

I took them out and counted each of the cards slowly. This was the deck that my grandpa used to play when he was home trying to pass time.  He'd sing, leaves his old school Panasonic TV on the basketball channel and play these cards by himself. I carefully put the deck of cards back into his drawer, and closed it.

Things will never be the same.

I seen the last card I've written to him.. containing a photo of my ex girlfriend and I during Christmas season sitting silently on top of his cabinet. It was the longest Chinese letter I've written to this day. I still remembered typing all of the characters up on my tiny iphone and copy the characters onto the letter since I've forgotten how to write most of the remaining letters I can write.

Today, I accidentally hiked up a mountain near the neighborhood I grew up in. Afterwards Kevin took me to the back of our house, where I've been to a few times since I've moved back last month. This used to be our grandpa's old stomping ground, as me and Kevin jokingly saying this was "grandpa's turf".

With the improvement of our technology, the distance between us and our past generation grows day by day. Everyone in this world has a story to tell. Doesn't has to be your family members, we walk past by older generations everyday. Some may randomly strike a conversation with you and we may never know the reasons why. It could be because they're bored? lonely? curious? What I have learned from my past experience, giving them a little bit our time and attention can make a huge difference in their lives. The genuine smiles I've seen, they are smiles that will stay with me for the rest of my life. 

We've all got a story to tell.

For my grandpa? his stories and accomplishments are embedded within my memories. Man, grandpa you are truly a G.

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a view from above

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behind

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going deep

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trail

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waterfall