From time to time we share some excellent student writing with you. Yuki Zheng, a student in Class 4A, recently wrote about her grandmother. Read the story below, then take a quiz to test your reading comprehension:
by Yuki Zheng
If I could travel back in time, I really wish I could be there for my grandma during her last days. In my memory, she was one of the bravest women I had ever known.
Back when she was only seven years old, her mother sold her to a rich family to live a better life. Even though the family treated her like she was their own biological daughter, she didn’t have the same privileges her siblings had. She stayed home every day, cooked, cleaned, and took care of her younger siblings.
When she turned eighteen years old, she was introduced to a general. Soon, she was required to marry him. He is now my grandfather.
Not long after that, my grandmother gave birth to my mother and two uncles. Unfortunately, my grandfather was drafted back to war and died there. She was only in her mid-twenties and she had to take care of three children all by herself. My grandmother was a loyal wife; even after my grandfather passed away, she didn’t look at or pay attention to another man. Her biggest motivation in life was her three children. No matter how hard or stressful her job was, she never gave up. She soon became known as one of the strongest and bravest women in the village, and many people respected her.
When my mother grew up, she married my father and lived in the city. When I was born, they brought me back to see my grandma. However, the first time I actually remember her was when I was four years old. Because I was the only granddaughter, she loved me the most.
My favorite holiday was Chinese New Year because on that day, I always visited my grandma. We were really poor and we couldn’t afford to buy expensive food, so my grandma would just kill a chicken from her farm to celebrate Chinese New Year, and she would always leave a drumstick for me. My grandma would also make many delicious desserts for us. Every time I needed to go back home, my grandma would watch me until I vanished. I knew she would miss me, and it made her sad to watch me leave, but I also knew that she would patiently wait until the next time I came to visit her.
Time passed like lightning, and I was soon all grown up. I still remember when I was young, I was so eager to grow older so I could take care of my grandma. However, now I realized that as I grow older, she would too. I was around fourteen years old when I found my first summer job at a restaurant as a waitress. When I received my first pay, I gave half of it to my grandmother. To her, the money was worth more than gold. Although it was not a lot of money, it was the thought that made it worth so much. This was very meaningful to her. She announced this to the whole village, and they were all happy for her.
I wish time could have slown down so I could have spent more time with her. She was one of the most important people in my life. During the hardest times in my life, it was my grandmother that was always there by my side and not my parents. She encouraged me and gave me strength. I was closer to my grandmother than I am to my mom.
When my parents immigrated to America, I felt a part of me missing. There were problems I couldn’t solve myself and times when I wanted a family member to be by my side, and it was always my grandmother that was there for me. I remember she once told me, “You can lose anything in life because you’re still young, but you need to also learn to treasure everything you have now.” Even though my grandmother never went to school, her experience brought her knowledge which led to her being just as smart as people that did go to school.
When I was sick, no one was there for me; it was my grandmother who would call me and check up on me to see if I was okay. At that time, she was always my best medicine!
My biggest regret is not being there for my grandmother during her last days because I was in New York. However, before the end of her journey, she watched me marry the love of my life and give birth to my lovely daughter. I love and miss my grandmother very much and I always will. Although she passed away, she will always live in my heart!