When news broke on the horror that was occured in Las Vegas on Sunday night, my heart broke. 59 people dead, 527 and counting injured. All of these people were just trying to have a good time, following the motto “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.”
As the tweets continued to pop up on my timeline, I sat there, trying to figure out if we had any extended family living in Las Vegas. Then it hit me that there were two people in my family who didn't live in Vegas, but were there often on their long weekends off––my maternal grandparents.
So many thoughts raced through my mind at that moment. Were they actually there this weekend? Can I even remember what hotel they usually stayed at? What if they were in the hospital at this very moment? Along with the questions came all the worry over things I didn't do the last time I saw them. When was the last time I told them I missed them, or loved them? When did I bother to stop by with food or at least have a sit-down dinner with them?
I ended up calling my grandpa that night. No words can describe the relief I felt when I learned that he and my grandmother were safe and sound in the Bay Area. I told them I missed them and loved them. I made them promise to always reply whenever I texted, whether it be as simple as sending a thumbs-up emoji or a "We're okay." There's a lot of things I still haven't said to them or about them, and i don't ever want it to be too late before I do.
So, here's my letter to my Vegas-loving grandparents:
I'm beyond grateful that you are still here with me. The fact that the two of you have always been there to support me, from elementary school to now, one of the first in the family to study at a 4-year college. Grandpa, you don't have to worry; I will make you proud.
Thank you for picking me up after school, and making sure I'm well-fed as soon as we get home. Thank you for giving our first dog, Parker, a home, after we realized we couldn't take him with us to Texas.
Grandpa, thank you for showing me your soft side, even though you scare everyone else in our family with your bull-dog demeanor.
Ba Loan (Grandma), thank you for helping me improve my handwriting skills and always pushing me to read and study more. Thank you for buying the grand piano that is currently collecting dust in the family room, just because you believed in my ability to play piano back then. I'm sorry I actually sucked at piano, and didn't become the world's next Yiruma.
Thank you both for the constant support and love, through the best times and the hardest times.
I know I have been slacking on checking in on you, but now I also know that I can't be taking you or anyone else in the family for granted. You never know what might happen, and I don't want to regret not saying what I want to say/not doing what I need to do.
I love you.
Your oldest granddaughter,