This is the first Father's Day that I've had where my grandpa isn't alive, and with that thought and sentiment, it is hard for me to say that I'm not reflecting upon the memories that I do have with him. I'm trying to focus on the memories that I do have, because when I think about memories that I haven't been able to experience yet, I get a little sad. Like the fact that he never met my dog, or he won't be at my wedding. So I'm trying to focus on the memories of places we've been to together for this post.
It isn't around anymore, but my earliest memory of my grandpa is of him taking me to Blockbuster. I don't know if he knew it was a place to rent DVDs, because I remember I picked out a Sailor Moon DVD. I then remember him leaving and saying that he would come back soon, and a few weeks later a letter came to the house with a late fee and a charge that my parents asked me about. Obviously, being 3 years old, I had plausible deniability in the matter.
When my grandpa came to live with us when I was in middle school, I always knew when he won a game of Bingo because he would come home and say that he was taking me, my grandma, and my sisters out for lunch the next day. We all had different things that we liked, my grandpa always loved taking us to Chinese buffets, because there are so many options. The last one that we went to was the Hibachi Grill and Supreme Buffet in Daytona sometime after it first opened.
8731 International Drive
Orlando, FL 32819
Phone: (407) 248-8606
This was one of the first places that we went to after moving to Florida, and we found it after a long day of shopping at a mall. What I've noticed from observing older generations of Vietnamese people is that if there is an unlimited amount of seafood being offered, you best believe they will try and eat it all. Even at the Chinese buffets, I remember my grandpa and grandma would both clean out the crawfish, and then be waiting for them to refill and bring out more. It's probably how I learned my love of seafood.
Vietnamese New Years Festivals
Vietnamese New Years, also known as Tết, is probably the biggest Vietnamese holidays. I would say that confidently, because it is the only cultural holiday that I really know about. So as hard as my parents worked, I also know that they always made sure to try and have the day off for this holiday so that we could spend it all together. The local Vietnamese community as a whole would rent out some fairgrounds or an event space so that we could get together and celebrate the new year.
Library/Barnes and Noble
I appreciate that, as I developed a love of reading and writing, my grandpa was willing to make the time to take me to the library and Barnes and Noble when I asked him. He eventually started bringing me books each time he was gone for long periods of time. I even have books in Vietnamese from when he picked them up on a trip to Vietnam.
We all took a trip to the beach together when we first moved to Florida. I remember that my grandpa taught me how to find tiny little crabs in the sand. I also remember that my sister Jasmine was very tiny at the time and would try and chase the birds, and my grandpa got pictures of her doing that. We also collected seaweed, which I thought was interesting and strange at the time. Seaweed was nothing to me at that moment.
How are you celebrating Father's Day? Are you reminiscing on memories as well? Do you have moment you're especially grateful for? Tell me in the comments below!
Until my next blog, I hope you enjoy some tasty times with your loved ones.