My earliest memory of my grandmother is meat. Juicy and succulent Chinese pork meat drenched in oily and fatty sauce dripping down your overjoyed face at the tenderness and love that she put into that pork meat. My Grandmother and I couldn’t communicate through spoken words as she grew up in Shanghai speaking the Shanghainese dialect and I grew up as ABC-American-Born Chinese, only being able to speak English. Instead, we created our only loving grandparent and granddaughter language through body language, hand gestures, facial expressions, and, of course, food. Every time I saw her, she had a steamy pot of Chinese pork ribs ready for me greedy mouth and hungry tummy. It was these little things that showed me that she loved me and that she cared deeply for me.
I did not meet my grandmother until I was about 8-years-old. Many would say this is later in life, and my father always wished that I had met and known my grandparents (his parents) sooner as he believed grandparents were instrumental and the ultimate key to understanding our roots and living and breathing history. Were your grandparents instrumental or had involvement in your life?
My grandmother was the epitome of gentle, loving, soft-spoken, and caring—caring too much. You could even say worried too much. Worry warts and overly caring are traits that have run in the Wu family since the beginning of time. Then again, what is exactly the difference between caring and worrying too much? Do they fall along the same lines? As the years continue to pass by faster at the speed of light, I wish harder that I did not care so much at all. It isn’t that I care about what others think of me—believe me that I couldn’t care less what people think about me, but I always have the people I care about and what they are going through on my mind. I inherited the Wu gene of caring too much and, God forbid, being told I am overly sensitive. When was being sensitive a bad trait?
I have tirelessly tried to care less, because caring hurts and the person it hurts the most is the person who cares the most. I envy those who could care less. There have been many times that I wanted to be like these people because it seems like they do not feel the immense hurt that comes with the territory of immense caring. It eventually hit me at some point that it is not about overly caring or under caring, but it is about “whatever.” Whatever possess a very negative connotation of possibly not caring at all, but I am now seeing “whatever” is let whatever happens, happens and to try even harder not to attach to people, things, and experiences. How can something that seems so easy in words be so hard to act? I do not think I can ever completely remove the Wu caring gene, but am taking steps and strides in the right direction of at least realizing who it worth caring about and who isn’t. The truth is, not everyone is worth the steps and strides, but for those that are, I rejoice in the caring gene. I rejoice in caring because it is better to hurt and develop compassion than not hurt and be indifferent. I give my gratitude to my grandmother and the caring gene that has run deep in our family that all boils down to the beauty of love. And, you always remember and know the ones who REALLY care about you and are really worthwhile.
Have you been told that you are sensitive or even overly sensitive as though it is a negative trait? Have you wished that you could just be ‘whatever’ to what you end up caring immensely about? Is caring too much the same as worrying too much? Were you ever told that you do not care and are cold or callous, which may just really be a protective mechanism?
Here is to “Whatever”—whatever happens, happens..whatever may be, will be.
Keep smilin’ until we meet again,