My grandfather wakes up at the break of dawn and rides his moped to the community center, where he swims laps daily at the age of 80. I can imagine his body immersed in the water, gliding like a fish that has swam through the dark, deep crevices of the ocean. Every stroke, every gulp of air he takes is a reminder that he has survived. I'm not sure how he still has this kind of grit even at 80, his iron-hard calves built from years of working as a tour guide for the Japanese that visit Taiwan, from hiking the lush terrain of this country. He, as well as my ancestors, the Hakka- are known to be incredibly frugal, not wasting a grain of rice, wearing something far past its expiration date.
This time he gives my husband his jacket; it looks like it has been through many seasons.