So, I know I’ve already posted something tonight but I’m sleeping at my nan and grandad’s house (like I do every fortnight) and had a bit of a brainwave so here we are. As most of my friends will know (and again, I imagine you’re the only ones really reading this) my grandad was fairly recently re-diagnosed with leukaemia which really flipped my world upside down. The first time he was diagnosed I was far too young to understand exactly what the possible outcomes of this would be but this time I’m more than aware of what could happen to him and in all honesty I’m scared. I’m really scared. Terrified. Because what if it gets worse, what then? That’s not a question with an easy answer, nor is it an answer that’s easy to hear.
All of my family are obviously so important to me but my grandad will always have a slightly bigger place in my heart. He has been there for me since way before I was born. My mum always tells me stories about how much he wanted a grandaughter and how he tells her often how proud I make him and that honestly just warms my heart. He has always cared so deeply about me and I believe that a lot of my kind and caring nature stems from him.
It’s kind of weird because even as a child I used to gravitate towards my grandad more than anyone else. I always saw him as this quiet and calm adult figure in my life and I suppose I idolised it, if possible at that age. We’d always play board games, play fight, watch horse racing together, all the things most grandparents do with their grandchild, but with him it always felt like I had a friend in him. Like I could tell him anything and he would swear to secrecy, no matter what it was. It was like this unspoken pact we had.
The thing is, recently he hasn’t been quite the same. His memory is clearly fading and his balance is slowly going. He’s now partially deaf and blind and he needs more help than he ever did and I can’t stress enough that it’s terrifying to watch. To watch someone you love just deteriorate in front of your eyes, knowing there’s nothing you can do to stop it happening but hope. I’m not a religious person nor will I pretend to be but there’s never been a time when I have really wished I was wrong about it all. I wish there was this paradise that people talk about, this place which promises eternal life and happiness. But mostly I wish I had the faith these people have to believe in it so strongly, because maybe then I wouldn’t be as scared.
But you see, this is why my grandad is my hero and always will be. He is kinder than anyone I know and gives the best hugs, he cares so deeply about people he loves and it’s a beautiful thing to witness. Truly I don’t believe I will ever meet another human even half as wonderful as he is to me. Bravery for me isn’t always measured in the depth of your suffering but in the effort you put into forcing a smile and going on as normal to protect the hearts of those you love and that’s exactly what my gramps does.
I will always be truly inspired by this brave man no matter what happens in the future and will continue to tell everyone how much of a hero he is to me.
What lies behind us and what lies before us are small matters compared to what lies within us.
~ Jem x