Forgot your password?

We just sent you an email, containing instructions for how to reset your password.

Sign in

  • Last month was the anniversary of my grandmother's death. When she was alive, we never celebrated her birthdays, but now that she is gone, every year, the family gathers, my aunties, my uncles, friends of the family, from France, Maryland, Vietnam, we hold a memorial, we feast on roasted pork, shrimp rolls wrapped in rice paper, dipped in peanut sauce, a cabbage salad with fried shallots, and a tangy sweet and sour sauce, there is steamed ginger chicken, and always sweet bean dumplings for dessert.

    When she was alive, my grandmother never cared for food. She was notorious for her weekend stew--anything and everything in the refrigerator, no matter how gruesome the concoction. You winced while eating.

    My grandmother cared about politics. Justice. In her heart, she was a Marxist. A Marxist who died in Orange County, in a country she once denounced in political speeches as the evil empire of imperialism.

    My grandmother cared about spirituality. Buddhism. In her room, late at night, she would sit and meditate. The scent of incense. Sandalwood.

    My grandmother cared about literature. She read voraciously. In French, English and Vietnamese. I still see her in her rocking chair. The sallow light at dusk. The shag green carpet.

    My grandmother passed away fifteen years ago. There is a sorrow that inks deep inside your skin, in your flesh, etched in the bones, a tattoo, that never fades.

    I never told my grandmother I was gay. But years later, after her death, I learned that she did not care. She told my aunt. No matter. He is still my grandson.

    A person can die, but love never leaves you. Though you may never have met my grandmother, when you meet me, you will know her spirit. Intimately.
  • Connected stories:


Collections let you gather your favorite stories into shareable groups.

To collect stories, please become a Citizen.

    Copy and paste this embed code into your web page:

    px wide
    px tall
    Send this story to a friend:
    Would you like to send another?

      To retell stories, please .

        Sprouting stories lets you respond with a story of your own — like telling stories ’round a campfire.

        To sprout stories, please .

            Better browser, please.

            To view Cowbird, please use the latest version of Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Opera, or Internet Explorer.