I was 8 years old when the "big surprise" finally came. I had expected something joyous and extraordinary. I didn't expect the surprise to be a 140-pound, 5-foot-3 old woman. I only found out later that she was extraordinary, in the sense that she was nothing like anyone I knew, or cared to know. But her arrival was not joyous -- not in the least bit.
My mom had sent to the Philippines for her mother, my Grandma Fausta, to take care of my brother and me while my parents worked. "It will be better to have your grandma here with you instead of hiring a stranger," my mom said.
There wasn't much preparation. A week before she arrived, my parents casually mentioned that my grandmother would be here soon. I envisioned a Mary Poppins type, singing catchy tunes laced with life lessons. At the very least, she would be a sweet old lady, adorable like Betty White and dependable like Alice on "The Brady Bunch."
I held my dad's hand at the airport, waiting for my fantasy grandmother to walk onto the tarmac at San Francisco International Airport. I caught a glimpse of several candidates, expecting them to tear up at the sight of me and then cover my face with powder-infused kisses. But they each latched onto other families.
Suddenly, my mom let out a little yell: "Mang!" The word, which I later found out was short for "Mamang," was foreign to me.
I looked up and saw a short, stout woman with pursed lips and shrewd eyes. Her bosoms sagged to her bulging belly, and her thin nylons couldn't conceal the varicose veins beneath them.
"This is Grandma," my mom said, nudging me toward her. I looked up and stared as she waited for me to take her hand to my forehead -- a sign of respect in Filipino culture.
But the look in her eyes made me nervous.
She wasn't Mary, Betty... [continues]
Cite This Essay
(2011, 04). The Oracles. StudyMode.com. Retrieved 04, 2011, from http://www.studymode.com/essays/The-Oracles-674702.html
"The Oracles" StudyMode.com. 04 2011. 04 2011 <http://www.studymode.com/essays/The-Oracles-674702.html>.
"The Oracles." StudyMode.com. 04, 2011. Accessed 04, 2011. http://www.studymode.com/essays/The-Oracles-674702.html.