Friday, December 07, 2007

In Loving Memory of Choo Chan

January 22, 1917 - December 7, 2007

I realized fairly early on that blogging was a therapeutic resource for me. There were times when it really helped me to be able to put my thoughts "out there" to share with others (whom ever that may be). I'm counting on this to be one of those times.

My Grandfather, Choo Chan, passed away this morning.

Although I am extraordinarily sad about this, I'm finding great comfort in thinking about all of the great memories I have of him.

Simply put, he was one of the best people I've ever known: he was kind, generous, loving and had a great sense of humor. He had an even temper, and always had a smile on his face.

He lived for over 90 years. He was married to his wife for 60 years. He loved his wife, he loved his daughter, and he loved his family.

He loved hot dogs and custard donuts.
He made the world's best Egg Foo Young.

He owned and operated his own Shoe Repair Shop in Downtown Stockton. He ran it for 50 years.

He was kind and generous: he would give money to the local "hobos", but only after he had figured out a way that they could work it off somehow so that they could retain their dignity. These same hobos referred to my Mom as "the shoe repairman's Daughter" and would watch after her as she walked to and from elementary school.

My Grandpa had a great sense of humor. He was always laughing, and always teasing. When I was young, he used to tease me by saying he was going to take some of my Raggedy Ann dolls. I believed him, and bought him a Raggedy Andy of his very own.

He used to call me "Chili Bean"
He used to carve the turkey for Thanksgiving, and would always sneak a few pieces to me.
He would give my sister and me $1 for every "A" that we showed him on our report cards.

He used to pick up these little plastic banks from McDonalds that were shaped like garbage cans (a McDonaldland character, at the time). He would save all of the pennies that he could save from his store, and he would present these banks to us, full of pennies when he saw us.

He loved animals, and all things small and cute.
He and my Grandma have a small brown teddy bear named "Half Pint". Grandpa would bring him to sit on their bedside table every night when they went to bed.
He would call anyone or anything small "Big Shot".

He used to walk me to the 7-11 by his house to buy me a Slurpee.

He couldn't pass up a deal. If he found a really good sale, not only would be buy one or two - he would usually buy something like 10!

He enjoyed shopping at Costco.

He liked gadgets.

One of my most recent favorite memories was when I showed him my iPhone. He was very impressed with everything it could do. He asked me how much it cost. I was embarrassed to tell him, because he was so frugal, and I was afraid he would think that I spent too much money. After I told him it was $600, he turned to my Mom and said, "That's not bad. I thought it would be $1,000! Barbara! You should get one, too!"

My Grandpa was one of the best men I've ever known. Everyone who knew him loved him.

I can't express how lucky I feel to have had 37 years with him.
He had a great life, and he knew how to be happy.

Goodbye, Grandpa. I will miss you, always.


Anonymous said...

i read it out loud and shared your stories of grandfather Choo in the calm morning hours. Thank you for sharing, it's warm. It brought me to tears how genuinely loving your memories of him were. Such a beautiful life he had, with family. Condolences to you and your family. With much love, Ayumi

Unknown said...

I echo Ayumi's sentiments and offer my condolences to your family as well. I must say that I am tad bit jealous of your being "local:" at the end of his life. For out of my three grandparents passings my paternal grandmother died in Japan so I wasn't there for her passing and my two maternal granparents both died while I was down in So CA. How special it was for you to have been there at the end of his life. Makes me think twice about ever moving away from the SJ area in the near future! :)