24 September 2013
Gone, but Never Forgotten
"A memory is a way of holding on to the things you love, the things you are, the things you never want to lose.” This quote by Kevin Arnold had a really tremendous impact on me. My grandfather passed away two years ago on December 15, 2011. Since then, not a day has gone by where he has not crossed my mind.
Ever since I was little, my grandfather and I had a specific bond. In the vast majority of all my pictures from birth till age seven, my grandfather was holding me. Although my parents were never absent in my life, they worked a lot. My grandfather was the one who practically raised me. He did everything for my family; you think it, he did it. He cooked, cleaned, mowed the lawn, and most importantly took care, and raised me.
I will never forget the day when my grandfather told me his favorite story about how he came to America. My grandfather had lived in Pakistan for most of his life, when he was about forty-three years old, he was given the opportunity to come to America, and just like the others, he came. After he arrived, he quickly became an American citizen and applied for a Visa for his children. Soon after, my dad and his five other siblings were on their way to America. Years after staying in America for more than a decade, my grandpa realized that he hadn’t gone to Pakistan for quite some time to visit, so then my grandpa and grandma decided to go on a trip back to their hometown. By the time they got to Pakistan, it was already dark, so they decided to go to sleep. That same night, my grandpa had a stroke. Back home in America, that was an unforgettable night for my family and I. A week after staying in Pakistan’s hospital, we booked a ticket for my grandpa to come back to America so he can have better treatment. My grandpa was in really bad condition when he got here, so he stayed in the hospital for another 2 months after he came back. He needed to be taken care of at all times. My family made the decision to keep him in a nursing home because taking care of my grandpa wasn’t easy and we needed all the help we could get. Never was my grandpa by himself at the hospital, he always had some at his side 24/7. Every once a week, all of my grandpa’s grandchildren would go and visit him. Needless to say, he would always have a story to share. He always shared the same story, but sharing this story every time, really made him happy. In this small, dark, and drowsy looking room where my grandfather stayed, all his grandchildren would listen to the story of how he came to America.
“I haven’t told you the story about when I came to America, have I?” said my very excited grandfather.
“No Abba, I haven’t heard it yet.” I lied to him, even thought I heard this story many, many, many times before when I came to visit my grandfather.
“You will never believe all the sacrifices I’ve been through in my life dear,” alleged my grandfather in such pride.
We always responded saying, “oh Abba, you’ve lived such a interesting life, lets hear all about this story.” This story was a really unique story; it was about how my grandfather first came to America. He had no idea how to speak English; the language English was a whole different language for him. When he got out of the airplane, he had no idea where to go so he just followed along with another foreigner to the bag pickup area. After he