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‘How A lot Was That?’ – The New York Instances

by Editorial
‘How A lot Was That?’ – The New York Instances


“How a lot was it?” she requested.

“Free,” I mentioned.

Even in dying, my family members, like many Chinese language folks, don’t cease excited about cash. This yr, the identical as yearly, my household made the pilgrimage to Wong Tai Sin Temple, the place my grandfather’s ashes are saved in a columbarium. We headed to a desk within the courtyard, the place some ladies bustled round stuffing luggage with joss paper cash. It’s a Chinese language custom to mild faux cash on hearth so your ancestors can obtain it within the afterlife — like Western Union, however arson.

“Not simply cash,” my uncle mentioned. “Additionally traveler’s checks, bitcoin, Canadian {dollars}, and Apple and Tesla inventory. So grandfather will be wealthy!”

I requested what he would want the cash for in heaven.

“Enjoying Mahjong,” my uncle mentioned. “He wants to purchase a whole lot of chips. Additionally, they’ve a jockey membership, and he could wish to wager on horses.”

If you happen to overlook the horrifying implication that capitalism follows us into the afterlife, it’s a pleasant thought. Households proceed offering for one another regardless that they’re a bunch of ghosts.

These are the instances when my household has by no means complained in regards to the worth: the taxis we took on daily basis as a result of my mom may not experience the subway, her acupuncture appointments (pondering it would assist with Parkinson’s), her natural medicines, goji berries, dried scallops, jujubes, a sippy cup to stop spills, smiley-face squishy balls for hand workout routines, spa appointments, melatonin for sleep and strolling sticks she gained’t use.

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On the finish of our journey, my uncle sat me down, and we had a frank dialogue about what it might value to maintain my mom as her illness progressed.


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