“We ought to make every moment count, because it may be the last.” I chose this quote by Dr. Parker because it sums up the unique relationship I had with my grandfather.
I lived with my grandparents for the first 12 years of my life. I was the first grandchild of the family and my grandfather loved me more than life itself. He used to take care of me when I was born; he used to boil my bottles, make my formula, take me out for walks, and would play hide and seek with me among many other games. But above all, our greatest memory together was when he would read to me for hours as we sat on the floor of his closet. We would use every pillow and blanket in the house and would stay there all day and night, making up stories about anything that crossed our mind. He eventually taught me how to use the computer and the television, held my hand as I learned to walk, and would aide me in learning how to climb the stairs. He would stay with me when I got sick or couldn’t sleep.
He retired so that he could look after me when my mother went back to work. He would drive and pick me up from pre-school, and made the fifty-minute drive when I went into grade one. He came to all of my concerts and would sit front row at my school musicals, even if I did not play an important role. He came to all my graduations and I thought he would see me graduate from Grade 12, and eventually from university, but that would never happen. My grandfather was the one to bring me flowers at every graduation to the next year level, but on my high school convocation, I did not receive any flowers as that was his special thing for me.
He got really sick in October of 2015 and was admitted into the hospital January, 2016. He was eventually admitted into hospice after three weeks and being a stubborn man, he held on till February 4, 2016, which was longer than any doctor had expected because he stopped eating and wasn’t taking in any liquids. I missed school so I could spend as much time with him. The stress of watching him literally pass away before my eyes took a toll on my studies and I started falling behind. But school was the least of my worries. My grandfather was dying and there wasn’t anything I could do to stop it. All I could do was sit in the same room with him and be there for him like he was for me all of those years.
I miss my grandfather every day but I try not to think of him because it is too painful, and I know once I let any memory slip in, the tears would start and they would never stop.
Make every moment count with your loved ones because you never know when it could be your last. I wish I could go back in the past and apologize for all the times I lashed out at him when he was just trying to help me; to tell him how much he meant to me, since I never got the chance to do that. I am eternally grateful I had the chance to grow up in his presence and had the chance to see him finally free from the debilitating disease that took a vibrant man who touched many people’s lives.