Most people know me by Jendhamuni, my first name only! It’s okay, but for me, I always want the whole world to know me as Jendhamuni Sos.
I just want to tell you how much I love my last name. In fact, I am the only child who carries this last name now and forever. I think I should tell you a little bit about my background.
On Monday October 30, 1972, a baby girl was born to this very confusing world; my parents did not know what to name me so they decided to have an abbot (Head of Buddhist Monks) of Palelai Buddhist Temple in Oh Jrov, Battambang, Cambodia, given me the name instead.
My ethnic background is very confusing that I almost didn’t know who I am. My parents never want to talk about this topic, I don’t know why. Lucky I was raised by my lovely grandmother who came from another part of Asia, that’s why I know more about my history.
I miss her so much. I always want her to come back to earth.
My grandmother is a very unique woman and she passed this on to me. When I was about 4 years old, she taught me how to chant in Pali language. I learned very quick and asked her to teach me more.
“That’s all grandma know, if you want to learn more, I’ll ask Grandma Aet (our neighbor) for you.
“Please grandma, I really want to learn more.”
She then did what I begged for.
I remember this beautiful moment forever.
One day, when I was about 7 years old, my grandma and I were sharing a happy moment together. All of a sudden this guy, our neighbor, came to us and said, “Jendha, don’t be too attached to your grandma because she’s old now. She will eventually die due to an old age.”
Back then I never knew that people will die when reaching old age, I thought human beings live forever unless someone kill them. His words shocked me badly. I remember crying in front of my grandmother saying, “It’s not true, my grandma and I will live forever, no one can separate us.”
My grandmother is always my hero. She rescued me when I fell off the window; she saved my life when I drowned; she protected me from the bullets and bombs during the Vietnamese invasion in Cambodia. She took care of me until her very last minute. She did not allow her spirit to leave her body until I became her reflection.
A day before she died, she was very ill, everyone thought she would leave us that very day. All of a sudden she looked very fine and healthy – what a miracle! My parents thought she’s recovered. When everyone left the house to perform their daily routines she took me with her to wash all the dishes and do other houseworks, then brought me upstairs. She taught me how to chant and pay respect to our dead ancesters.
“Da, you must remember what I just taught you, ok. You have to do this when I am not around,” Grandma whispered.
My grandmother did not allow me to come downstairs until I memorized everything she taught. She then took me outside and bought me my favorite icecream. I enjoyed eating an icecream so much without realizing the death clock is ticking.
Who knows she had to leave me.
The crucial moment finally arrived, forcing this young and innocent child to watch her grandmother dying, with tears and sorrow… Grandma passed a way peacefully. She chanted the Buddha’s name until her last breath.
One person I did not want to lose is my grandmother. I needed her…
When I found out my grandmother’s spirit left her body, 1001 images attacked my brain.
“Who’s gonna cook with me, who’s gonna laugh with me, who’s gonna eat with me, who’s gonna clean out my wound when I fall down, who’s gonna bring me to the temple, who’s gonna sing me a lullaby, who’s gonna tell me folktale stories, who’s gonna comb my hair, who’s gonna sleep next to me, who’s gonna bring me to the bathroom at night, and who’s gonna make sure my feet are cleaned before I go to bed…”
No word could describe my feeling. That night I was intoxicated…That was the first and and the last time I’ve ever absorbed alcohol in my entire life. I’ve never experienced this type of loss…
My Grandmother passed away on Friday, May 30th, 1985 at 5:30 A.M., in Luzon Island, Philippine, when I was 12.
Spring is coming by
Why you’re still sleeping…
Lonely in the grave.
Who will teach me how to chant
Who will teach me how to smile