If Only I Could Be Half The Man My Grandfather Was
At his late 70s, he still kept working and refused to take any retirement. No, my grandfather did not have a family to feed. All his children turned out well and has enough money for him. Yet, he worked, because he never wanted to be anyone’s burden. Contradictory, he even provide for his grandchildren.
Most of my childhood, I have spent with my grandfather. However, as I was still young back then, I never showed any appreciation. I never told him that I love him.
Back in the days, when I was only 7, he will never let me go hungry. Because my parents are busy working class people, they never had time to walk or drive me home from school. He never minded, to tire himself to do what is best for his family. None of us (me and my cousins) ever get left behind whenever our parents are busy. He will always be there to compensate what our parents cannot do for us.
At times, he would surprise me with my favourite food. He would just stand there, and stare at me while I enjoy the food. I guess he just wanted to see all of us happy. So I just turned to him and smile all the time, letting him know I am happy with what he did. He would just nod, in satisfaction.
He is by far, the fairest person I have ever known. He never let any one of his grandchildren to fall behind, or to lead. He was always so determined to make sure that we all are provided equally so that we will never quarrel and to build a strong family bond. Whenever one of us had an awesome new toy, he will try his very best to get each of his grandchildren the equal piece of toy.
He is also a man of principles. He lived his life as disciplined as possible. Back then, everyone would gather around for dinner everyday. He would catch up with all of us. He was always concerned with all of us. Everything is just right, with him around.
Perhaps, what makes me proud is that, he eventually adopted a couple of poor kids. They are not any younger than his very own children. Now they are all grown up, successful, and most importantly, they grew up with a family, thanks to him.
Unfortunately, everyone grows old. I was then 15, and I had to deal with his departure. In fact, at the day of his death, he drove to visit us. Yes, at the age of 15, I did not spend as much time with him as I did when I was younger.
We stopped needing him to drive or walk us home from school, because we are “grown up” enough to do on our own. If only we were not so “grown up”, we would have spent as much time as we could with him. But, how would we know what we lose, until we lose them? He was so healthy. Yet, on the day of his death, he was able to drive all the way to visit us.
We were all devastated on the day of his death. Everyone could not have gotten to where they are without him. Even before his death, he had left a will, not of his property and money, but his message to all of us. Telling us how we should live our lives, and that family comes first.
During his funeral, I could not even shed a tear, because I just could not accept the fact that he is gone. I have yet to show him that I could be somebody one day. I have yet to show him that, all his effort and love for me had not gone to waste.
It is now 6 years after his passing. Now all I have is his photos to remember him by. If only I had spent more time with him, and let him know that he did a great job to keep his family. Things are just not the same anymore without him but, he will always be in our hearts.
Since I have grown up quite a lot the past years, those who remember him would at times tell me I am just like him. Every time I hear that, I would smile. My only hope is that I would grow up to be half the man he was. How I wish he is still here, to help me and be there when things are just getting harder as I grow up. Grandpa, I miss you.