The most prominent single moment of the pandemic for me will be hearing from my cousins and my Masi, the woman who outside of my mom, defined mom for me since birth, that my Masa was sick, being put into comfort care, and then, died. A year ago today.
Masa was always around but also, never in the way. It’s amazing. He made his way to India for my fathers death, he was in San Francisco when my Fua died. He found his way to so many places while always finding his way out of the way.
Which is why his service is so memorable to me; because he found a way to get us all together as a family, a few times, while also not “being in the way” — no burdens.
When someone dies, I promised myself when I was a little kid — we all make these promises to ourselves as kids and as kids most of them are forgotten in seconds but this one, stuck with me — to carry a part of that person forward (the first person I remember losing to death was my Kaka, and I was so young, I remember mostly the dope blue bike he gave me and the fact that he’d promised his car to my sisters when they were of age, so I tried to do those two things, give gifts and save cars).
For Masa, I am trying to remember how in the chaos of the world he made sure to create cocoons and safe spaces for the kids. When the noise and chaos of families tried to swallow everyone and migrate left, Masa grabbed some kids and took a walk heading right.
I am still haunted by how I haven’t given my Masi, Chanda, Oowaj, Megan, Miles and baby to be a hug yet; that’s just on pause as you all are the first trip we make when trip making becomes a thing again.
Forks up, y’all. Forks up.