Clinging on to Life

November 16, 2010
When my mom was six,my grandpa got sick with kidney disease.From that time on,he's been fighting for his life.Grandpa was a tough fighter.He's been fighting his illness for more than thirty years now,and still refused to give up.Grandpa was seventy-two now,and inspite of his age,he still refused to died.If he hadn't been so tough,I would never have had such a good,loving,grandpa.I don't remember how many times he's come to a close call with death,but he still lived on.The strength in which he clung on to life amazes me.
From the time I was born Grandpa's been sick,but compared to the state he is in now he was in relatively good health.At that time he had problems with his kidneys but they were still in function.When I was three Grandpa got sick enough to stay in a hospital,and it was then that his kidneys stopped functioning.From that time on he had to go to the hospital once every few days to get his system cleaned up,a job that's supposedly his kidneys'.The reason why he got so sick I wasn't so sure.My dad said it was because he ate too much bananas.When I was little I lived with Grandpa,and he bought a lot of bananas and fed them to me everyday.I guess that's because he loved me so much,since I was his first grandchild.I couldn't have eaten very much,and Grandpa gave me a lot,so he ate all the parts that I didn't.Dad said that's what made him so sick,but I don't know how bananas can get someone this sick.Grandpa was greatly weakened by this illness.Weakened in body,that is, not in spirit.
The summer that I was six Grandpa got very sick again,and nearly lost his life.That summer Grandpa ate a lot of beans,a food he was very fond of.Grandma warned him that it will make him sick but he wouldn't listen.One day he was down with a bellyache,and had to be rushed to the hospital the next.Grandma said it was his stubborness that made him so sick.After this illness Grandpa rarely even touched beans.He,as Grandma puts in,has to almost die to learn a lesson.I had never seen Grandpa so sick in my life.I saw him on his hospital bed helplessly,in pain and agony,but he never expressed his pain in more than a few quiet words.After a few weeks the hospital declared that he could not be saved,but Grandma refused to give up on him.She had him sent to another hospital,where he was given surgery and recovered.After that he was in and out of the hospital,so many times that I couldn't remember how many.
Last summer,when I was twelve,Grandpa had to be hospitalized again.He was gravely ill,and his life was in jeopardy. The hospital said that he wouldn't be able to recover.Grandma had sobbed when she told me this over the phone.(I lived with my grandparents until I was ten,and afterwards moved in with my parents.)Grandpa had begun to make his death wishes.He thought he was going to die soon,so did Grandma.He wasn't expected to live.At this point I had become a faithful Christian,and I prayed for him.I thought it would be a pity if Grandpa didn't get to know God before he died,so I said,"Lord,I place the life of my Grandpa in Your hands.Whether he lives or not,it's up to you.But please,if he is not to live,allow him to know You before he dies." Miraculously,Grandpa got better and was able to come out of the hospital.He still suffered from the consequences of the illness but at least he was still alive.My family called that a miracle. Grandpa and Grandma believed that God has answered my prayers,and Grandpa,who had refused to believe in God before,believed.He was very grateful to be alive.
Now as a teenager,I had begun to go through many stresses. Sometimes I get so upset that I didn't care whether I lived or died.When I said this to Grandpa, he said,"Why would you want to die?I don't want to die,even if I'm old and sick.It's good to be alive,so why do you want to die?"I was amazed.I sometimes want to end my life after just a little pain,but Grandpa refused to die even after suffering from so much.Compared to the pain he had to go through,my pain is nothing. Just by looking at the way Grandpa faces life makes me guilty.He was never bitter,never resentful,and always grateful.You learn to appreciate life after nearly losing it.Grandpa says he looks forward to see me go to collegea and get married,and it's his biggest wish to live to see those days.I'm grateful that he's still alive,because I would lose a whole lot if I lose him.I would lose someone I love,and more importantly,someone who loves me deeply.There are things that I am grateful of,too.

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