My paternal grandmother passed away last week. She was 103 years old.
She came from China on a ship when she was a mere girl, but the Thai she would speak for the rest of her life bore the heavy accent of her country of birth. We were never particularly close since she didn't live in Bangkok. In fact the only time she ever left her home in the countryside for any length of time was when the threat of an explosion in a nearby oil refinery prompted local residents to evacuate.
She received neither a silver-spoon upbringing nor much of an education, but she was a shining example of hard work, kindness and dedication to family. When my grandfather (whom I never knew; he passed away before I reached my first birthday) became an opium addict, my grandmother had to raise 10 kids on her own on very little money.
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