In this memory, I’m twelve years old. We are in the middle of a large family gathering at my aunt’s house, and I’m sitting at the dining table with my grandmother. Suddenly, she mentions my late little brother who passed away when he was turning three. She tells me about the day he was born with a heart disease and how I responded to it, then heaves a long sigh.

“If only he were here.”  She smiles at me, though her eyes are a little sad. “Because now, you’re all by yourself. But there was nothing we could do about it.” She continues quietly. “The Fate must have had it that he would live for only those years.”

“Well, that’s not how I see it, Mom.” My mother, who has just sat next to me, turns to face her mother. Her voice is strong. “I think he was born with as much potential as we all have. Only the circumstance didn’t allow him to live longer.”

Today, my grandmother doesn’t argue with my mother. She remains quiet, nodding and nodding.