“Who wants to bless the food?”
Everyone in the room looks around, all with the same thought on their mind about who will bless the food. It wasn't going to be an adult in the room but before you know it the five minutes that nobody said anything grandma interrupted again.
“Who wants to bless the food?”
I see my brother inching to raise his hand. He is only 10. I knew he liked to bless the food and he was the one who did it last year, but for some reason he was hesitant tonight. It was Christmas Day, the day we celebrate Jesus’ birthday. I hear grandma again, this time a bit louder.
“Who wants to bless the food?”
Nobody moves. Maybe it was that no one heard her, but everyone stayed glued onto their phone screens. My younger brother was name Sachiel, Chiel for short. He volunteered with great joy, as if he didn't hear grandma asking who wanted to bless the food the whole time. Everyone gathered around the table where the food was, you could smell the marshmallow covered Yams fluctuating through the air particle just below my nose. There was grandma’s famous Ham, it took the whole day to cook and was so juicy and sweet balanced meals were no such thing as many of the plates were filled with ham. Once we all started eating, the warm filled with warmth. The spark plug had been sparked, everyone put on their happy face. Beings I had been away at school since September I had no idea as to what was going on at home. From my standpoint things seemed extremely fake, but I refused to allow myself to look into people's emotions too much. Maybe they're having a bad day I thought to myself, maybe they had a long day, maybe this, and maybe that. Maybe I was overthinking it, people tell me I do that sometimes. Maybe there actually was something going on. Maybe. Just Maybe. A wrath of uncertain cascading through my mind. It was the feeling that my dad always talked to me about.
“ Sometimes you feel like you don't have the answer to anything, and you decide to assume rather than ask question. So Ahria, ask questions whenever you can.” He would say.
This family that I was adopted into wasn't my real family. When I was about eight years old, by mom and my father broke up. No not divorced, they were never married. They broke up after a tense argument and were on a speak never basis. In other words, they very rarely said a work to own and other and would rather communicate through me to avoid speaking directly to one and other. It was one of the weirdest things ever but I didn't completely understand the situation to try and talk to my mom about my dad or vice versa, I just wanted everyone to be happy. Looking around I noticed my brother was done eating, and together we ran to grandma’s room to play wrestling. I was Mark Henry because how tall I was and how much more I weight than him and he called himself a hysterical, made at name. It seemed as if it was his goal to remain secret around his peers, the name that he called himself while we fought was something personal.
My mom had finally opened the door to grandma's house and told us boy, Me and Sachiel felt a tug on our shirt from our mom and decided to not argue and walk to the car as it had been an extremely long day. We jumped in the car, both in the back seat of the SUV and I decide to ask my mom whats going on. Everyone was acting awkward and dinner tonight mommy and I have no idea why.
Ahri, Grandma has been in and out of the hospital for about five weeks. She has been getting operations done on her lungs as she has fluid. She had an operation and got it out, and she is doing much better but there is the constant risk that it could come back and be an issue later on. I didn't know how to react, it was like the feeling I had when I was 10 when my mom underwent chemotherapy for cancer. I was shocked, I hadn't heard about going on with her and I was shocked when I heard she was ill. It made sense now why the christmas dinner felt like it was a funeral. Dead silence. You could hear a pin drop. I was no fool to the environment around me, and it was obvious that there was something wrong.
I felt a bit of remorse. I had no answer, and no valid understanding of where the sickness came from. For a family that everything had been going so well for, things had finally began to go wrong. Grandma. Not my grandma but that was what she was to me. Biologically she was my younger brothers grandma, and when my mom and dad broke up, my mom was with another man who acted as the main father figure at times throughout my life. He played as my dad while my dad figured his life out. I saw my dad on weekends, but certain communities around the island didn't really know my actual father was my father. It was a lot to handle growing up. Being I lived in this adopted household for such a long time, I felt apart of the family. Grandma was the piece that kept us all connected. If she was sick, the relations of the family was sick.
That christmas was the last time, as a family we gathered. Beings I am away in boarding school, the time I have to spent with the family is limited. I miss almost every Bermudian holiday and whenever I am home I am normally to busy to have the time to attend a family gathering. Every time I would see grandma would warm my heart. She was a short lady, a shade up form being white, and always smiling. She loved to cook, whenever I would come by there would be baked goods sitting on her counter-top waiting for one of us kids to eat them. Cake, cookies, brownies, rice-krispie treats, you name it. She fed into our obsession, in truth, I think she was the reason all us kids had a sweet tooth. I knew what to expect.
The Ming's household could be best described as a little villa. Her house was one of the biggest, and the most central hence the reason we always convened there. Last week was the one year adversary of her death. She passed away and since then the whole family has been in shock. Auntie has tried to step in Grandma’s place, but things aren't the same, nobody could fill her shoes, I mean nobody. There are barely any treats on the countertop and since Auntie doesn't live in Grandma's house, she can't completely make up for the emptiness felt when you walk inside. A three bedroom house with a games room, two bathrooms, a living room and dining room feels empty. Only grandpa lives there and he normally sits in the games room watching sports. I remember we would sit there all night watching whatever sports were on television, tennis, soccer. Grandma’s house will never be the same, and the traditions she implemented on the Ming family, may never be carried on. It was her, Grandma, who united us all.