A few years ago, around this time of the year, I had my final exams of engineering. I used to live in hostel at that time. When I was in hostel my mom used to call me every single day without fail. Other than her, there was my grandpa (mom’s father) who called me on a regular basis. If there are anybody else in this world who love me selflessly like my parents are my grandparents, I believe. Whenever grandpa called me, he used to ask few things- if I was eating properly, if I was physically fit and he always told me not to worry about a thing and always to have faith in God’s plan.
A month before my exams, I came to know that grandpa was suffering from cough and cold. At the age of 85, even fever can bring a person to his knees. So my mom decided to bring him to our home, so that she could take care of him. One evening I got a call from grandpa. Our conversation was shorter than usual. He was having a bad cough. He just said, ” Don’t worry dear. I’ll be fine… I’m praying to God for you. Your exams will be great! ” A week later, I happened to visit home. I met grandpa, his cough had become worse. He couldn’t talk much, just assured me that he would be fine. I returned to hostel after one day.
2-3 days later, my mom was talking about grandpa’s test reports. She was supposed to visit doctor the following day. The thing about test report is most of the time it says something in medical term which is clearly not understandable by common people like us. Out of anxiety I told mom to send me the reports. It said, non small cell carcinoma.
I knew carcinoma is cancer but I was hoping against hope. I started browsing Internet, my hands were shaking. I learnt that “non small cell carcinoma ” was nothing but lung cancer and my grandpa had some of the symptoms of this at stage IV. My exam was knocking at the door, I was trying so hard to concentrate but my eyes just refused to stop leaking. When I went to bed and closed my eyes, I was only hearing grandpa’s voice. His face was flashing in front of my eyes. Every little thing about him was popping up in my mind at the same time. It’s like sitting in front of 14 screens with different videos playing on. It was too much to handle. Finally I gave up trying to sleep and left bed. Even before doctor could say anything, it seemed that I had already lost my grandpa. I don’t remember a day crying like that. Usually I pray to God in any negative situation. But this incident left me in a dilemma. I don’t know what I want from God. I can’t see my hero suffering, neither can I afford to lose him.
Treatments started but it was not less painful than the disease. Rather it was making things worse. The day I wrote my final paper, I got to know that grandpa passed away the previous night. I didn’t cry at all that day. Rather I was consoling myself thinking that my grandpa got rid of the pain. I didn’t feel bad about not being around him, when grandpa breathed his last because perhaps I couldn’t face that. I want to remember his smiling face only.
He always supported me, motivated me to be a better person, to gain knowledge and stay humble, to be calm and patient. I wish I could hug him when the results of the final semester came out (it was the best among the four years), I wish I could tell him when I got my job. I think though he’s no more with us, his blessings are always with us that get us going.
I still have grandpa’s number in my speed dial. I miss those candies he used to give me. I miss acting like a kid around my grandpa. No matter where I go, what I do, he will always be in my heart.