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For the One up in the Stars! #40

A few years ago, around this time of year, I had my engineering finals. I lived in a hostel then. My mom called me every day without fail. Also, my grandpa (mom’s father) called regularly. If there’s anyone else who loves me selflessly like my parents and grandparents do, I don’t know them. Whenever Grandpa called he’d ask if I was eating well and staying fit; he always told me not to worry and trust God’s plan.

A month before my exams, I found out that Grandpa had a cough and cold. At 85, even a fever could bring him to his knees. So Mom decided to bring him home where she could take care of him.

One evening Grandpa called me; our conversation was shorter than usual because he had a bad cough. He said, “Don’t worry, dear. I’ll be okay…I’m praying for you—your exams will go great!”

A week later I visited home and saw Grandpa’s cough had gotten worse; he couldn’t talk much but assured me he’d be fine. After one day I returned to the hostel.

My mom was talking about Grandpa’s test reports 2-3 days later. She was supposed to visit the doctor the next day. The thing is, most of the time, medical terms in these reports are not understandable by people like us. Out of anxiety, I asked Mom to send me the reports. They said “non small cell carcinoma”.

I knew carcinoma was cancer, but I still hoped for the best. My hands shaking, I started browsing the internet and discovered that “non small cell carcinoma” was in fact lung cancer—and my grandpa had some of its symptoms at stage IV. With my exam looming, I tried so hard to concentrate but tears kept streaming down my face. When I went to bed and closed my eyes, all I could hear was Grandpa’s voice; his face flashed before me. It felt like sitting in front of 14 screens with different videos playing on them—too much to handle. So finally, I gave up trying to sleep and left the bed. Before the doctor even said anything, it seemed like I’d already lost my grandpa. That night remains one of the few times when tears wouldn’t stop flowing from me. Usually when something bad happens, I pray to God for help; this time though, a dilemma stopped me from doing so: how can both keep him alive yet not see him suffer?

Treatments began, but they were more painful than the disease. In fact, they made things worse. The day I wrote my final paper, I found out that Grandpa had passed away the night before. I didn’t cry at all; instead, I comforted myself with the thought that he was no longer in pain. Although it saddened me not to be there when he died, perhaps it was for the best; I only want to remember his smiling face.

He always supported and motivated me to be better, gain knowledge, stay humble, and remain calm and patient. When my final semester results came out (the best of the four years), I wished I could hug him. Similarly, when I got my job, I wish he was still here to hear the news. Though he’s no longer with us, his blessings continue to guide us on our journey.

I still have Grandpa’s number in my speed dial. I miss the candies he used to give me. I miss being a kid around him. No matter where I go or what I do, he’ll always be in my heart.

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Post Author: Molten Cookie Dough

A typical Pisces person.

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