Blessings of a grandfather
Counting her blessings and remembering fondly her 84-year-old grandpa.
BY: Geetika Chawla
I come from India, a part of the world where many families are big. Grandparents, parents and children, all live in the same home. Such is my home, where my parents, grandparents, me, my brother, his wife and children, all live together, in one happy home. It has been seven months that I left home for studies. This is my first stint away from home, away from family … away from my grandfather. I was only 15 when my grandfather retired and my father insisted that my grandparents live with us upon my grandfather’s retirement. The day finally arrived. My grandparents were shifting to our home!
My mother made our grandparents’ room ready with every possible thing they might need. However, I felt something was missing. We needed balloons and flowers to welcome them! I quickly went to the market and bought some balloons and flowers, and spent hours decorating their room. I still remember grandpa’s laughter from that day upon seeing his room. He was happy. He smiled and patted me on my back. I said to myself: “These are the blessings of my grandfather.”
Seeing grandpa smile, I decided that I must bring this smile on his face every day. So, I would spend some time everyday with my grandparents, chatting and telling jokes. This time spent together built a special bond between us. It was just another day that grandpa and I were sitting together and grandpa patted me on my back and said, “You come to our room everyday and sit with us for an hour. We feel very good.” I once again thought: “These are the blessings of my grandfather.”
For the first time in eight years (from the time my grandparents shifted to my home), we are away from each other when I am here in Singapore. But my bond with grandpa is still fresh and alive. Recently grandpa insisted that he visit me in Singapore. My father agreed to bring him here. I was excited, more than anything else about my grandfather’s overseas trip. I made sure that I make his trip memorable. I decided that in grandpa’s short visit, I must show him Singapore’s Little India and Underwater World – something that he would not have ever seen.
We took grandpa to Sentosa in the cable car. I could see the excitement in his eyes. Soon we reached Underwater World. Grandpa saw the fish very keenly and would stand at every point for minutes observing the marine life, just like a little child! I kept on clicking his pictures and he kept on posing. When we came back to the hotel, he patted my back again. This time he did not say anything. With the passing years, my grandpa finds it difficult to speak. But he wrote on a piece of paper (see left), “A wonderful visit to aquarium. Historic photography. Thanks.” I said to myself, yet again: “Blessings of my grandfather!”
Our experiences together have developed great love for each other in our hearts. Whenever I remember grandpa, I feel close to him. Every little action that he appreciated with a smile and a pat on my back made me feel blessed. In our busy lives, we often forget how by doing little, we can give so much. Our little gestures of love can make our grandparents very happy. Grandparents are at a stage of life where they expect nothing but few words of love. And in return, they give us blessings, blessings that last forever!
Geetika Chawla, 24, is a chartered accountant from India. Currently, she is pursuing an MBA in finance from the S P Jain Center of Management, Singapore. Prior to this, she worked with McKinsey & Co as a research analyst.