At 05:50 on December 11, 2020 (lunar October 27), my grandfather died at the age of 94.

One month before Grandpa died, he suddenly felt exhausted and collapsed in bed one day, and he could only eat some liquid food every day. Although the old man has a little back in his ears, his mind is still very clear. He may feel that he doesn’t have much time and call his children and grandchildren who only come back occasionally to see him. That day, it was a weekend. All of us came back and gathered around Grandpa. He could clear everyone’s name and told my parents to take care of themselves, I told our grandchildren to work hard, and I told them to study hard.

There are 5 grandparents, only he is a man, and the 4 grandmothers all go ahead of him. Grandpa is the oldest. Grandpa raised five children, with girls at the head and tail, and three boys in the middle. The elder sister died of illness a few years ago. A few years ago, Grandpa was very ill and gave up treatment as he meant. The most pity was that the youngest two sisters had not yet married. Now we have already married and had children for our grandchildren, so Grandpa left peacefully.

Grandpa is an ordinary rural person. Maybe few people have heard of him since he went out of our village. However, an old man of his age who can read characters is very rare in our rural areas in northern Jiangsu, maybe our ancestral home is still good. My father is the eldest son and I am eldest son, so my grandfather has a preference for me and my son. Grandpa’s temper was very big. Uncle said that when he was young, only I am of them were not trained by him, and they all made trouble with me. That day, my son came back to visit him after asking for leave. The child took his hand and asked him how he felt? He waved his hand and said, “I’m fine. Don’t ask for leave. I can’t delay my study.” Looking at his weak appearance, my tears could not help flowing down.

Before I went to school, I lived in my hometown. My father went out early and returned late at work, and my mother didn’t care much about me. At that time, my most important activity every day was to herd cattle with my grandfather. In the early 1980 s, mechanization was still a slogan. Rural people still couldn’t live without cattle farming. Our village was not able to raise cattle by every family, so our Bubalus was very envious of the village’s friends.

Every day I went out with my grandfather to herd cattle. My grandfather took the cattle to a ridge, put the back on the mat, and then stood on the ridge and held me up. Then, he smoked a cigarette and pulled the rope of the cow. He didn’t hesitate to pick the earth world with tender grass. I am on the back of the cow, Xiao Sanzi, Xiao Beizi…… Shouted loudly to the friends in the village. When it was almost over, Grandpa took me down again and looked at us with a smile to dig the navel and dig the grass root, when we rolled into mud monkeys one by one, we carried me to the ox’s back and blew the children in the village home. Every time I got home, grandma complained and changed clothes for me, but the next day she was still the same.

One year in the transplanting season, Grandpa used cattle to rake the field. I jumped on the edge of the field to stand on the rake. However, my grandfather found a big rim. After putting a lot of grass on the basket, he put it on the rake. Tiny me, he sat in the frame and watched the grandpa standing on the rake giggle……

Later, when I got to school, I lived in town with my parents. Although it was not far from my hometown, I went back less. It is necessary to go back to Tomb Sweeping Day every year, because our custom here is that tomb sweeping day will go to graves. Therefore, every year grandpa will lead our grandchildren to the grave. Along the way, he was talking about some fairy stories that I couldn’t find the source now. At that time, my cousin and I were not in mind to listen, because the thatch Bud on the ridge has already appeared, it will not be sweet if it is picked late; The braid on the roadside is also blooming brightly, and if it is not picked, it will be picked by others……

A township enterprise called “funeral room” in my father’s village has been the factory director since the apprentice. Later, because my mother wanted to help us take care of our children, she came to the county and opened a home decoration store, we lived in the county with us. My cousins grew up one by one and came out to school and work one by one. Gradually, there were only four festivals, namely Tomb Sweeping Day, middle yuan Festival, winter solstice and spring festival, where we needed to pay tribute to our ancestors, A big family just found a way to come back and get together. Such a day is the happiest time for Grandpa. While watching our children give him cigarettes, he complained that we spent money indiscriminately and rushed to give the snacks prepared by the children. When paying tribute to the ancestors, he always took pains to tell us the order of putting rice bowls on the tribute table and the quantity of inserting chopsticks, telling me how to change it after 100 years. Looking at my child’s respectful kowtow, I counted carefully who in the family didn’t come back, asked my child to fight for those who didn’t come back, and promised to help ask for the red envelope for kowtow next time.

In a flash, the winter solstice is coming, and Grandpa’s first seven days have passed. The rice bowls on the gong table are still 6 as last year. The first bowl with 3 pairs of chopsticks was removed last year, and finally a bowl with 1 pair of chopsticks was added, father said this bowl represents grandpa. I kowtow for the daughter-in-law who couldn’t get back, and kowtow for her son who couldn’t get back.

2020.12.21 (Gengzi year · winter solstice)

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