Double-edged 真理報雙語版


A bilingual and bicultural Christian young adults blog //////////////// 青年華裔基督徒的博客

Steady Hands

Thomas | Chinese Translation: Linda

Today we commemorate the life and grieve over the departure of a devoted husband, an admirable father, a compassionate grandfather, and a loving friend. I’ve never experienced the passing of a family member, nor have I ever been to a funeral before, much less give a eulogy. However, when the recipient of this solemn occasion is my grandfather, the man who took care of me in the first four years of my life, nothing can stop me from this honour.

My grandfather was a loving and selfless man that gave his time, energy, and love to everyone around him. I admire him because he was so calm, reliable, altruistic, and humble. He beamed with qualities, qualities that I hope to cultivate, but yet still do not have. And maybe it’s because of this that I admire him so much.

When I was young, my parents had left to pursue higher education, so I stayed with my grandparents in Shanghai. We lived in a tiny apartment, so tiny that I didn’t have my own bed, but that didn’t matter. Given the choice, I always chose to be with my grandfather. He was my favourite person in the world. I remember that I had this habit of always wanting to touch his neck. It was like my security blanket because my grandfather emitted an aura of security. He was a person who you can lean on when you are in trouble. He was the man I trusted. He was took me to daycare every day, rain or shine, took me around the city on his bike, brought me ice cream when I was sad, and carried me to the hospital when I was sick. He was a man of few words, but his love resonated loudly through his actions. To me, my grandfather epitomized the height of human love, love manifested through actions, love given expecting none in return.

Fast forward a few years into the future, I was reunited with him in Vancouver. Again his actions showed his love and generosity. When I came home from school, I’d see him hard at work in the kitchen. My grandfather was very handy and contributed much to the family. Around this time, he started to teach me Chinese. I was a brat, but my grandfather never gave up. I would run away and throw temper tantrums. I was this dumb kid who’d rather line up his army of toy dinosaurs on the bedroom floor than learn a few words of Chinese, so that I can be a better person. But my grandfather wouldn’t have any of that. He was persistent and tough. He made me read the Chinese passages over and over again. Today, though my Chinese is far from exceptional, if it wasn’t for him, I may know nothing at all. He made a big difference in my life, and above all, he did it with such grace. He never complained about how much trouble I gave him or that he was tired. He never demanded anything for his contributions. He just did it, for me, for our family. No questions asked.

My grandfather was not just a good man–he was a great man. He was selfless, giving, and reliable, but there was another part to his nature: his fun playful side. I remember that when I got the hiccups he would chase me around the house trying to tickle me, to get me laughing so the hiccups would dissipate. I would hide behind the couch or under the table, but he’d always find me, probably because I was hiccuping. He would grab me, tackle me down and tickle me. I still remember that he could overpower me with ease and tickle me with those strong steady hands.

In the past fifteen years or so, my grandfather started losing his steady hands to Parkinson’s, but he never lost his steady heart. Even with his deteriorating condition, he still insisted on helping out, even though he would often cut himself as he cut the vegetables because of the shaky hands caused by Parkinson’s. He taught my brother Chinese, even though Parkinson’s was slowly eating away at his brain. The disease took away his physical and mental strength, but it never took away the strength of his heart.
My grandfather was a great man. He was so strong, so loving, so reliable, so steady. He was the rock in our lives. He was a man with the steady heart, unwavering in his love and consistent in his generosity. I know that I didn’t do enough to reciprocate his love, for his love was so great.

Grandpa, you are with God now, and though you are no longer the man with the steady hands, you will ALWAYS, ALWAYS be the man with the steady heart. Rest in peace, Grandpa. Thank you.

Editor’s note: Thomas Hong is the eldest son of Rev. Yujian Hong of Vancouver Faith Chinese Baptist Church. Below is the eulogy he delivered at the memorial service of his grandfather, Mr. Daoxiu Hong.


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"Double-edged"is bilingual blog in affiliation with Truth Monthly, a Chinese Christian monthly print publication based in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

This blog features mostly original writings as well as comics, poetry, and other works of art by local Christian young adults.

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