award-winning solo travel blogger

Every Morning I Dance With My Grandma

Every morning while I get ready for work, I would see my Ah Ma sitting in the rattan chair at our front porch, enjoying the early morning wind. Her eyes stare blankly at the moving traffic; her mind replaying the days of her youth.

Every morning with my car keys in hand, I would tell Ah Ma that I am leaving for work. Ah Ma would look at me and give me that grandmotherly smile of hers.

Every morning when I start my car engine, I would see Ah Ma slowly walking towards the car. Her steps slow; her hands unwrapping a rubber band tied around some tissues. She would unravel the fraying tissues to reveal some coins, the only money she ever owns now.

Ah Ma’s weathered hands would give me 20 sen or 30 sen, 50 sen when she is feeling generous. “No Ah Ma, I have money. Don’t need.” Sometimes I would say that Dad has already given me my allowance, so she would save the money for herself. But Ah Ma would never hear of it. “I don’t have a lot, take it. Take it and buy something to eat,” she’d give the happy smile reserved only for her grandchildren.

Every morning, guilt showers over me as I surrender and quietly listen to the sound of clinking coins falling into my palms. I watch Ah Ma’s shrinking body turn and walk back to her rattan chair, fumbling to wrap her precious possessions back into the tissues.

Every morning I would keep Ah Ma’s money in the coin slot of my car. The coin slot is now full, not of money, but of my grandmother’s love.


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