If I could see you now

By panda_eyed

My granddad was a great man and he was loved by all who knew him. He touched the hearts of everyone he came across because he had a big, kind heart, an extremely generous nature and the best sense of humour.

He was a simple man who took pleasure in his family, friends and neighbours. He once served his country in the Hong Kong army. He didn’t achieve great wealth, material possession nor status, but he was a great man, simply because he treated everyone with respect and love, and he would have given his last penny and last ounce of strength to help someone in need.

Once, during the Battle of Hong Kong with Japan, despite having no energy left from having nothing to eat, he rescued a woman who had been beaten within an inch of her life and left in a ditch to die. If he had been caught helping her, he would have faced the same fate. She survived.

My best memory of him is riding high on his shoulders through the park where we would walk everyday. He could never pronounce my English name perfectly, and as a result, I had a pet name that only he called me. He was a keen gardener and loved all of nature’s offerings. When we went to stay with him, he would cook our favourites every night – he was the best cook. He would scare me and my sister with his false teeth, then laugh and laugh at us. He was quite deaf and needed a hearing aid, but rarely switched it on. This meant that he would often mis-hear what we said, with hilarious results. He was a silly, lovable man.

He helped and touched a great many people in his lifetime. You would have been blessed to know him.

He died in March 1998, and has been missed a great deal since. But on Saturday night, he came to visit me in a dream. I have dreamt about him before, but this felt different. The few seconds he was in my dream felt so real. He looked just as he had been when he was younger. He told me that I needed to look after and watch out for my grandma. My grandma is now almost completely blind, getting more and more cantankerous and hasn’t been well lately. I was crying in my sleep because I had missed him so much.

I’d like to believe it was real, but I know it was only a dream and not a divine channelling of instruction. But that hasn’t stopped me from trying to figure out what the dream meant. My gran is in Hong Kong, and I am here. Some of my aunties and uncles want to put her in a nursing home now that she needs 24-hour, around-the-clock care, but I know she doesn’t want to go. How can I protest against her 7 children, at least 5 of whom want to put her in a home? It’s not as if I can put up the money to continue paying for a live-in carer. It’s such a sad situation – it seems that either way, no one can win. My gran doesn’t want to come and live here with her children and grandchildren because she likes her home in Hong Kong, but a live-in carer is no longer sufficient for her level of disability. It’s terrible watching loved ones get old.

What can I do to fulfil my granddad's wishes?

11 comments so far.

  1. Amy 5:00 pm, September 18, 2006
    Aww honey. Your Granddad sounded a fabulous man. How heroic in the war too!

    All you can do is tell everyone that your Gran definitely wouldn't be happy in a home. If they don't listen then they haven't really got your Gran's best interests at heart but maybe more what's convenient to them.

    You can but try.Xxxx
  2. Olivia 8:02 pm, September 18, 2006
    Oh Pandy - as Amy says, all you can do is convey your Gran's wishes - at least then you are supporting her, you're on her side. If he can see you now, your Grandad woould understand that you aren't independent and can't take care of your Gran yourself, even though you don't want her to go to the home, but at least you WANT TO and have let everyone else know what is right.
    GAH! You know what I mean!

    It's not fair that between 7 people they can't take care of their mum. WAs the same with my Gran - 9 other offspring and no one would send my mum money to help THEIR mum.

  3. Jia Li 8:35 pm, September 18, 2006
    awwww...I know how you feel my grandpa or poppy died when I was 11. I loved him very much.

    my moms father died before I was born.

    My mom's mother is in a home but we visit every day

    my other gran lives in her farm house with my uncle as her neighbour
  4. nikkipolani 8:58 pm, September 18, 2006
    I wonder if it would make a difference to your relatives if they knew you'd had this dream. Some people take things like that seriously - or at least an opportunity to re-think decisions. I'm glad you had good memories of your grandfather.
  5. Sioned 10:07 pm, September 18, 2006
    In my culture, we believe that the loved ones that have passed over really do visit us in dreams. It is the only way they have of still communicating with us. I trust that he came to you for a reason, and that you will figure out what is best for your grandmother.
  6. Youngmum 4:31 am, September 19, 2006
    It sure sounds like he was a fantastic man Panda. As others have said, the best you can do is make your wishes known to the rest of the family and hope they listen.
    I hope it works out for you honey.
    (( ))
  7. feathers 8:49 am, September 19, 2006
    Oh Panda, of course your Grandpa came to visit you. I see my mum in my dreams all of the time and I will think hard trying to make sense of it. Try to find a message. Sometimes I think she just wants me to know she is with me. Your Grandpa had a firm message and all you can do is state your feelings to your family. Try and let everyone know how you believe your Grandma feels and then try and find workable solutions. Sometimes 'unable to do' just needs more thought and with everyones input perhaps a workable answer will be found. I wish you well. Your Grandpa sounded like a terrific man, how so very proud is obviously is of you. So pleased you have recorded your vist too. Nice memories stored. xxxx
  8. panda_eyed 10:26 am, September 19, 2006
    Thanks Amy. He was the best kind of man - honest, loyal and accepting of all people, regardless of creed or colour. He would have wanted only the best for my grandma and it breaks my heart that his own children want to ignore her wishes for their own convenience. Unfortunately, my opinions don't hold much weight with my uncles and aunties, but like you said, I can but try. Thanks honey x

    Livvy, I know what you mean. I wish there was more I could do for my gran though. Recently, a few things have come to light -the worst being that my uncle and his wife have borrowed £20,000 from the money that my grandad left for my grandma so that she would be well looked after in her old age, and they are refusing to pay it back. They claim that over the years, they have given her small amounts of money (as you do in Chinese culture with elderly parents) that have added up to that much. They haven't taken into account that the other 6 offspring have also given the same amount over the years, nor that they've eaten into the funds so much that there's barely enough money left for a live-in carer anymore. It makes me sad. They are far from paupers (new house, new cars, children go to private schools, lucrative business) but no one can force them to give the money back. I am surprised though, that their conscience has not gotten the better of them. I'm so angry!
  9. panda_eyed 11:33 am, September 19, 2006
    Jia, it's great that you can visit your gran every day. Unfortunately, my gran is so far away that her children and granchildren would only be able to visit a few times a year. I don't want to think of my granny all alone in a place where she might not feel safe.

    It's nice that you're so close to your grandparents.

    Nikki, now you've said that, I wonder too. Chinese people are quite superstitious, so it may spur them into making the right decision. Good thinking! Thanks sweetie :)

    Sioned, it sure felt like that a method of communication. I only wish he's stayed for a bit longer, just to chat, you know? I'll do all I can for my grandma.
  10. panda_eyed 11:45 am, September 19, 2006
    Young mum, he was. When I was little, he would teach me little bits of Kung fu (he was also a martial arts instructor) and I managed to elbow myself in the stomach, lol. He teased me about it for ages! I miss him a lot.
    I think it will work out YM, my grandad is watching over us, and he'll make sure we do the right thing. Thanks luvvy (( ))

    Feathers, I want to believe so badly that he did. It's hard for me to combine spiritual beliefs with 'real life', especially since I have a science background. I like to think that departed ones are happier elsewhere though, and looking down on us.
    If I could be half the person my grandad was, I think I could be very proud. Thanks for your support, Feather.
  11. diva 4:56 pm, September 20, 2006
    I think you have been given some great advice here and I think trying whatever you can will be the best option, at least your grandad (who sounds totally brilliant) would be pleased of any effort you make and will totally understand how hard it is for you. He came to you because he knows you have a good heart like his. Ask him for help and trust in yourself and what you do, sometimes just a word can change the world, do what you can, even if it's just talking to people, and have faith knowing you tried your best. The way we see things going isn't always the way they can go, there are so many possibilities, so trust that the right one will present itself and believe that you can make a difference by speaking up. Good luck Pandy, we're all behind you 100% and whatever the outcome your efforts will have done both your granny and your grandad proud *BIG HUGS*

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