My Wishful Grandpa | Teen Ink

My Wishful Grandpa

May 24, 2019
By 22ak01 BRONZE, Cannon Falls, Minnesota
22ak01 BRONZE, Cannon Falls, Minnesota
3 articles 0 photos 0 comments

On April 19th, 2004 a baby was born and that little baby was me. I was a very quiet baby and I loved to be held and there was one man that held me quite a bit. I did not recognize this man for I was too young to understand. This man was in his older years with a scruffy voice and when months went by I came to the realization that this man was my Grandpa whose name was Gary. He lived in a small retirement home and when I turned three years old they had a mini circus in the building and I snuck out of his room and went down to the lobby to see what it was all about. Gary knew what was happening and came to rescue me. He then took me to the Circus and gave me a big grey elephant. This elephant was something I kept with me as something special and I always kept it close by with me and my grandpa. This all started a new friendship with me and him very early on in my life.

Then came moving day. When I was 4 years old he moved in with us and lived in our basement. At this time, my grandma was very ill. Her whole life she had a variety of diseases and eventually developed multiple sclerosis and Crohn’s disease. She had difficulty walking and often had to be in a wheelchair. Gary cared for her, his entire married life. He did everything he could to make her happy and spoiled her to death. One time she got so sick that Gary drove all the way to Florida to get a rare snake venom to try to cure her multiple sclerosis. At the time we moved in, my grandma got lung cancer. She died shortly after we moved in. Gary was very depressed and lonely inside of the basement but he still had that personality of caring and loving people deeply so I would always try to be with him as the years passed.

As I was a little older but still a kid, I didn’t have a lot of friends at school. I would get bullied and made fun of a lot at Elementary school. At school, nobody was really there for me but as soon as I walked out of the school doors, there was my grandpa all happy, ready to give me a donut and ask how my day was. He took me shopping with him all the time and we even looked at antiques together. Then as the day winded down he would take me to Dinner if my parents weren’t home and then he would let me “sleepover” in his basement. One time he took his chairs and flipped it over and made a huge fort just for me to sleep in. I would sleepover almost every day and I always felt very cared for and loved by him but I still needed to go to school.

Gary would be very stern on waking me up in the morning by hitting me with a pillow or blasting the Spanish channel to wake me up during a good night’s sleep. He made sure to give me a healthy breakfast each morning before I went to school. This routine would happen every day until then again, the night came to an end. As I started getting a bit older he would start asking what I wanted to do when I grow up or what I wanted to do with my life after I came home from elementary school. I had no clue for the longest time and I never really put much thought into it, but he always told me I was a very smart kid and would grow up to change the world and this was even brought on to my middle school years.

I then started getting a little older and would sleep in my own room, but still visited Gary quite often. At this time he was beginning to understand that I was becoming mature so he would tell me lots of stories. He would tell stories of him being a bit of a jokester at times and how adventurous life was for him. I was very intrigued by the fascinating stories he loved to tell and the list of adventures was endless. He would always encourage me to do great in school and keep working away at it. At this time, I was still unsure about what I wanted to do with my life but I still tried my best for I was motivated strongly by him to go to college. Things started to change drastically when High School started.

Gary was starting to wear down and was running out of energy very fast. He started getting many health problems but always acted like they weren’t there for he was determined to always care for others as much as he cared for himself. He would still try to give me rides to school even when he was tired. The elephant he gave me began to fade and become worn for I was now 14 years old. Gary was struggling and depressed for he knew his time was coming to an end. I was always nervous about him and would go down to check on him every once in a while for he was acting strange. Gary started teaching me how to make his famous recipes, even the secret ones. He told me all kinds of new stories and taught me many things about being happy with myself and others. He taught me how to drive for he had very special driving skills from being a truck driver over the years. Things would eventually fade even more and I knew it was time for me to care for him.

Gary began to fall out of nowhere multiple times and ended up in the hospital. The doctors explained that he needed surgery and when it came time for surgery things went horribly wrong. He was put under for 7 hours of surgery and was having a very difficult time recovering. I would always be very sad that this was happening to him and would visit him for whole days, even if he was completely unconscious. Families after families visited him because almost everyone felt loved by Gary no matter who they were. Then the doctors were running out of ways to fix him and he only had a day left to live. They took off his mask and asked him if he was ok with getting just one more day of comfort instead of struggling for only 3 days and he made the final decision to have one more day. He became fully conscious and had a huge party in his room! He was not able to talk very well but still loved to joke around and tried to tell as many stories as he could before he went. I would always stay right by his side and talk to him as much as I could. By the end of the day, things were winding down and he gave one final wink to me as he went to sleep. Gary did not wake up from his sleep and died on March 3rd for it was his time.

I was terribly depressed for many days and to this day I still struggle whenever I’m thinking about him. Even though he was gone he never stopped helping. I came to find out that Gary secretly told my parents that when he died he wanted me to have his brand new car! It was his way of giving me a little bit of extra support even when he is gone to show that he cared about me. Not only did Gary show endless love and care for me and everyone else, but he also taught me the ways of life. He taught me how to love other people; to never judge anyone no matter how hard things could get and he indirectly answered my age-old question of what I should do when I grow up. I want to become a nurse so I can care for others just like he did and show love to the whole world for I have been given a gift and would love to share that gift to others.

The author's comments:

This piece is a very personal experience of mine that I have always wanted to share with others for it is very impactful.

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