- Posted June 21, 2010 by
Lake Forest, California
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Anniversary of a death
Remembering my Grandpa
It was a hot day in the summer of 2002 and I was about to get a phone call that would change my life forever. It was the summer before my senior year in college and I was working on campus; I had just gotten back when the phone rang. My sister was on the phone, frantic and upset about something - blabbing about someone falling asleep and not waking up. I couldn't make out her words and it was making me upset. Who fell asleep? Who didn't wake? Why is she calling me about it? I yelled at her to hand the phone to my Mom who told me to sit down; she had some bad news for me.
That was when I learned that my Grandfather had passed away. He had suffered a heart attack in his sleep and when my Grandmother went to go wake him up he was unresponsive. Hearing her words and imagining my Grandfather no more just didn't make sense to me. He was supposed to attend my graduation. It was only a year away. How could he leave us all so quickly?
At the funeral and the ceremony afterward, it was comforting to hear great words about my Grandpa. I learned a lot about the man he was and the people he helped. I have always know him to be a loving man but I didn't realize how charitable he was to others.
Grandpa was the first to introduce me to the written word and my love for reading and collecting books is something I attribute to him. As a poet, he kept several journals and many novels. When I was old enough to walk and able to understand the meaning behind the words in the books, we hitched a wagon and walked to the library. I signed up for my first library card and treasured it like it was gold. We made several trips to the library together and that wagon held many books until it eventually broke, my Grandfather could no longer make those long trips, and we had to drive but we still took our weekly trips that eventually became an almost daily occurrence as we raced to see who could finish their books first.
The anniversary of my Grandpa's death is June 10th. An Indian culture is to grieve a loved one at a temple or to light a candle during the festival of Diwali but not being very religious, I celebrate by keeping my love of books and the written word alive. I build my collection high and stack them tall and while I no longer possess a library card, I wander bookstores and remember my Grandpa fondly. He lives through me everyday and he couldn't have given me a better gift. I wish he was with us here today but I know he must be watching from somewhere with a big grin on his face admiring my books, my writing, and my frequent trips to the bookstores knowing he left his mark somewhere.