I have such fascinations with b&w photographs, and finding this treasure of an old b&w photo of my maternal grandparents bring a certain sense of nostalgia for me. Both my grandparents passed away within a year of each other about 8 years ago. Lucky for me, I grew up with their love and supports. Today the impact of their love for each other and their family, sets such standards for myself in what I’m looking for in my future family.
Classic Romeo and Juliet story, my grandmother came from a successful Chinese immigrant family in Indonesia. My grandfather is the son of 3rd generation vegetables seller in their local market. The story goes as per usual, they met, fell in love and without stating the obvious Shakespearean plot, her parents forbid her to see him. Her father said to her, “A rose should not fall in love with cow shit”, please excuse my language.
But my grandmother was determined, she will only marry the man she loves. So she asked him to elope! They did and her parents did not attend nor approve of their union. She did not speak to her parents until their first child, a beautiful baby girl they named Marianingsih was born in 1951. The first of seven, my mom is their third born.
My grandfather’s entrepreneurial tendency proves positive for his family. He started a mushroom plantation, moved on to Batik (Indonesia’s traditional hand-painted fabrics, used to make apparels) factory and finally a successful taxi company which still runs to this day. With such loving and positive influences in their lives, all their children grew up to be successful individuals.
They are inseparable, and my grandfather was there to love and support my grandma when she became paraplegic and bound to a wheelchair. In her despair, he’s the only one that made her laugh out loud, everyday. When he fell ill at the end of his life and was admitted to the hospital, my wheelchair-bound grandmother attempted the impossible and forced herself to walk to my dad’s home office, my family lives next to my grandparents. She demanded my dad to take her to the hospital to see her great love. This moment always brought tears to my eyes and proves to my cynical self that there is such thing as a great true love…
I’m forever in debt for all the love you both shown and showered me with throughout my childhood.