He Who Matters

Sometimes, in the rush of all the things happening in the world, with AP tests coming up, piano finals in 2 weeks, running workouts to be done, friends to keep track of, reputations to be kept, screaming parents to deal with, brothers that either sulk or never call home, and with all that dinner still isn’t made….things are forgotten. Things are pushed aside.

Things that shouldn’t have been.

Things like the illness of my grandfather.

After the initial shock of learning of the horrible illness, after the first few trips accompanying him to the chemo room, I grew accustomed to our situation. And my grandfather, so selfless, so willing to conceal the pain in order for me to continue my studies uninterrupted, yet hurting so much…

I was selfish. I was callous. And to be ruefully honest, life went on for me. Cancer did not affect my life as much as it should have. There was always homework to be done, sports to attend, piano to practice…there was just no time to sit down with my loving grandfather. 

And though he never showed it, though I pushed away the truth, that he was hurting, that he was sad that I didn’t care…I think I knew all along.

And when my mother, yesterday, broke the news, I held it in. That my grandfather had less than 6 months to live was too much for me too handle. I would have left the room, if not for the fact that I was trapped in a moving vehicle, on the freeway. I sat, a prisoner bound by the tightening seatbelt in a whirl of gray to my right and a sad face saying words I did not want to hear on my left. I closed my eyes and turned up the music to drown out my mother’s talk of tumors, of failed treatment, of last days, and her pleas that I treasure my last months with the wise man of our family.

The tears came when I burst into my room. I turned on the radio and listened to raps talking of sexy girls and cars and money and tried to forget.

Laoye is going to China in one week to say goodbye. To see his family and friends for the last time. How would it feel, I wonder, to see your loved ones and know that your parting words, their final waves, would be the last?

Everything is a blur. I cannot imagine it. It is unthinkable.

 

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