Happy holidays and happy birthday to the most badass woman I know. My grandmother will be turning 93 this month, and I figured there is no better time than now to celebrate her.
My favorite memories of her are from simpler days. I remember her giving me piggy back rides around the house and chasing my sister around the house when we were kids. I remember her waking me up for elementary school and knocking on the bathroom door every time I fell asleep while brushing my teeth. I remember her teaching me addition and subtraction by laying out chopsticks on the floor. She has been there for every single part of my life, and I wish that I could have been a fly on the wall for her life before me.
It’s hard to believe she had an entire life before coming to the United States. Even though I see her as my sweet grandmother, her stories of being a teenager in Vietnam are full of mischief and badassery.
When she was in high school, there was this guy that annoyed her to no end. One day during school, she spotted him outside hanging with his friends and decided it was time to teach him a lesson. There was a coconut tree right outside her school, so she and her friends went up to a higher level where they helped my grandmother lean out the window and pull a coconut from the tree. She chucked the coconut right at his head, and after that, he never bothered her again.
Another time when she was in high school, she was hanging out with her friends in the courtyard when her teacher came up from behind and scared her. She thought she was being attacked, so she grabbed a broken branch off the ground and started beating him until he fell. When she realized it was her teacher, she didn’t apologize. She yelled at him instead for sneaking up behind her.
My favorite story was the time she almost got kidnapped in a taxi. She had gotten a taxi to go home, but the taxi driver tried to take her somewhere else. When she realized he was trying to kidnap her, she started screaming and attacking him from the back seat. Then she punched out his windows and escaped.
Those are only a few of the stories that she’s told me over the years. Her stories tell of a lifetime of always standing her ground, never backing down, and never apologizing for what is out of her control, but you would never be able to tell that by the way she takes care of the people she loves. She is everything I aspire to be. She is a real-life superwoman.