It Was You Who Changed My Life

October 4, 2012
It was on April 21, 2010. The day I lost one of the greatest people in my life. I got a phone call from my mom while I was doing volunteer work. I heard a crackle in her voice like something was wrong. The words “Grandpa isn’t going to make it the rest of the day” blurted right out of her mouth. My grandfather was diagnosed with four different types of cancers just a year before. My hands quickly got shaky and I got a feeling in my gut as if someone had punched me in it. My mom came to where I was and brought me to his house where I found the rest of my family sitting.

Before he was diagnosed, he loved to play volleyball and yard work. He always was so active with the family. For him being in his 80’s, that was amazing to me. Everything went downhill from there, obviously. As we were all gathered around the hospital bed planted in his living room as he was lying in it, we were talking about our favorite memories with him. His breathing was heavy and barely steady. There was nothing but silence coming from him.

My grandmother was another one dealing horribly with this; she didn’t leave his side not even for a minute. Since I was one of the closest grandchildren to him, I was a mess. I couldn’t bare to see him like this, but I couldn’t leave him either. I had to see him before he left for good.

This was the first time I had been dealing with a situation like this let alone death. That time just came around where we all sat in silence staring at the poor dying man. Trying to comfort him to the end of his life wasn’t fair in my eyes. He was so strong ever since he found out about his cancer, trying to fight every minute for his life. It wasn’t fair to me. He comforted me the whole time like he owed me something. He owed me nothing at all. I owed him. All my guilt was running in my mind like mad. I was selfish every time I visited him. I never wanted to take him for granted, and I definitely didn’t want to remember him just for the materialistic things he gave me. How could I have been so selfish to think about only how I felt when he was the one who needed guidance and hope?

Eventually, the quiet of the room had passed and we were all trying to make the best out of this horrible situation. The breathing of my grandfather got heavier and heavier every time he took another gasp of air. It was time. He was going. Sitting beside him at his bed, tears started rolling down my face. No one was ready for him to go, but it happened. I can honestly say I’m proud of what my life was like with him in it. In my eyes, I will never meet someone as strong as him, mentally and emotionally. Never again will I take someone I care for and love for granted. During this experience, I learned to never take advantage of something so special in your life because you never know when it can be gone.

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