This I Believe...

April 2, 2012
By , Manhasset, NY
My parents always assured me that “When a tough situation crosses your path, we’ll always be here for you,” and they still tell me that. I believe that everybody comes across difficult situations throughout their lives. I know I definitely have. When I was younger, I wondered about heaven. “What is it like up there?” or “How far away is it?” I distinctly remember my parents sitting my brother and me down on our leather couch. It was apparent that they had some horrible news to tell, judging by the troubled expressions on their faces. When the news came out that my grandpa died and had gone to heaven, me and my brother just broke down. I could not accept the fact that he was not here anymore so we could laugh together, go get some ice-cream at the local Carvel, or be here to just talk to. I thought the world was over. I loved him with all my heart. It felt like my heart had a hole in it the size of a bowling ball. I cried and cried to the point that I thought I had no water left in my body. I felt hopeless.
We called my grandpa Dido, because that means “grandpa” in Ukrainian. When I close my eyes, I can still see his shiny gray hair, his cheery wrinkled face, and the twinkle in his eye. I can still smell his strong scent of cologne and orange Tic-Tacs, and see his smile. I can still hear his voice with its strong Ukrainian accent. He had always told me stories about his childhood, and when he skated to school using only one skate on the frozen river behind his house, or how he came to America from Ukraine when he was little. I imagine how hard it must have been for him, coming here with nothing, and having to earn money to support his family as he grew older. He was full of happiness and love, and I am the luckiest girl in the world to have had him in my life.
I remember going to Dido’s funeral and seeing him lifelessly lying in the coffin, with his eyes gently closed, and his hands, one on top of the other, across his chest. I remember having to sit in a private room all by myself, because it was too much for me to see him not alive and cheery. I bawled my eyes out as I greeted all my friends as they said “I’m so sorry for your loss.” I remember seeing all my distant family members and them talking to me in Ukrainian. They would tell me, “? ?????? ?????'???? ??? Dido” (I will always remember your grandpa), or “? ???? ?????? ??? ??? ???” (I will always be here for you). Meanwhile, I was too sad to comprehend anything anybody was saying.
That was the most difficult part of my entire life. It took me such a long time to accept the fact that he was gone, but I know that he is watching over me, every second of each day. He is smiling down upon me at this very moment, and this one too. Overcoming harsh times in life is something that everybody has to deal with. It is important to have people you can approach and talk to, and have them comfort you when you are experiencing a huge bump in the road. My family is who I can go to and cry to, and I can always count on them to lift my spirits. Even if it is only a little bit, it still helps.
When my grandpa died, I always talked to my younger brother David. Because he was going through the same thing as me, we always talked to each other about it. I tried to comfort him, as he tried to comfort me. He is my best friend, and I will always help him through rough times, just as I did when Dido died.
Every single person in this world, no matter where they live and no matter what age, will be faced with difficult challenges, just like what I had to go through when my grandpa passed away.

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ssalama said...
Apr. 6, 2012 at 5:43 pm
I love this piece, it brought me to tears. It reminds me of how i felt when my grandma died
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