The sounds of my mother waking me up snapped me back to life. I got up drowsily from my slumber and took a look around the room. At first glance, I did not recognize where I was but soon I realized that I was at my house in Vietnam; my hypothesis was reinforced by the background noises of people speaking Vietnamese and the humid climate. “Get up and get dress.” My mother called, we are going to visit them. My mom left the room before I can ask who we are visiting. After taking a shower and put on a T-shirt and jeans, I went downstairs to check what was happening.
The commotion downstairs finally made sense; today is the anniversary of my great grandparents’ passing. This explain the relatives, all of them are wearing formal clothing; in addition I saw many offerings such as food, incense, and fake money that is used to burn as offering. The atmosphere of the morning was both somber and elated due to my family members seeing each other and honoring my great grandparents. The uncle patted me and the shoulder and greeted me. There are a lot of people that I did not know that were part of my family. I then heard my grandma’s voice saying that we need to put our things into the vans and begin to head out to the cemetery. After packing, my family got into the vehicles and head to the cemetery.
There was little conversation in the van that I was on which made me a little uncomfortable. Usually whenever we went on a trip there was conversation and laughter to be heard, but today the atmosphere is serious and somber. I rarely saw my mother and grandmother this quiet before. I deliberately fell asleep during the ride to avoid the situation that I am in. Thankfully, it only took an hour to arrive and I awoke exactly the right moment when the van stopped. We began to carefully unload the stuff and head to my great grandparents’ graves.
A couple of my relatives began by cleaning the graves of my ancestor by removing the weeds and nearby vegetation. I even got a chance to help by cleaning the surface of the graves with a paper tower and water. After finishing the cleaning, my mom lit the incense sticks and passed them out to people. The smell of the incense sticks filled the air, usually I cannot tolerate the smell but I ignored the smell and began to say prayer to...