One year before the storm. There are moments in a person’s life that shift the tides and forever impacts you — altering the course of events.
“Shield me from the darkness,
Guide me to the light,
Help me swim across the river
and fight against the tide”
My Grandpa Bing was a devoted family man who held the moral high ground. When I was no more than a few feet high, he stood tall like a god amongst men. I thought he would live forever because in my eyes was invincible. He worked hard at a factory every single day and without any complaints until he retired. I remember one of the happiest days was when he passed his naturalization exam and came home with a little American flag in his hand. He passed with a C, but his joy was worth much more than that. He told me he was very nervous the night before and it kept him from sleeping.
As I got older, I became more arrogant and confrontational. Incredibly, his love for me never wavered. When I failed my classes my junior year of high school, I felt like I hit rock bottom. I felt uneasy having to tell him the bad news. When I did, he surprised me by saying, “That’s great! At least you now have something to do during summer. It’ll be good to get out of the house more.”
This absolutely floored me and remains one of the fondest memories I hold of him. When everyone was saying how much of a failure I was, he took the high ground and kept believing and gave me hope.
We all miss you Grandpa Bing. There has not been a single day where I have not thought about you. The best doctors and surgeons in town could not save you, but you kept fighting until the very end. You believed in me even as I lost all hope in my darkest hour.
Some days I miss you more than words can describe. Your words, your guidance. Sometimes I really need it. Show me the way. I can’t do it alone. I find myself crying when all I can do is think of you. It pains me to the depths of my soul. You’ve been gone for ten years, but I’ll breakdown sobbing like a complete mess in front of Grandma when we talk in private about you.
To see you alive in pain was agony. Yet to see you resting in front of us all was relief. Saying that one final good-bye broke me to pieces. Without your passing, I’d never make it in this world. I’ll never understand why God’s angels set their eyes on you and took you from our grasp. I’m pulling back to keep you on Earth, but I’m not 27 or even 17. It’s the 5 year old me fighting against two angels. The train is leaving and I’m running as fast as I can to catch you. You hold your hand out and tell me grab ahold. But it’s too fast, Grandpa and it’s getting further and further away. It’s the last train and I’m left at the platform looking onward.
My actions betrayed you and you knew all along it was me. I find it incredible you never confronted me about it. I wronged you and I never had the courage to confess. I couldn’t keep my promise, but this world was not ready for you. I wasn’t ready. I was so naive.
Leave it to my grandpa to keep teaching me valuable life lessons even after he’s gone.
Rest in peace.