Fourteen years ago, on a Christmas morning, our family lost a treasure. The elders had all seen it coming, they had all prepared for it, they knew that Cancer was cruel, that it’ll strike suddenly and we would have a hundred things left unsaid.
But an eight-year-old wouldn’t know that, for an eight-year-old, there was always hope, there was always sunshine, the belief that even the worst situations had something good in it.
Fourteen years ago, on a cool December morning, the house had fallen silent… and as my brother and I were led into the room where my grandfather lay, the finality of death struck me. There was nothing more to be done. My grandmother, mother and aunt sat by his side, my dad stood by the door, but all I could see was the sunshine fall on my grandfather’s peaceful face.
Looking back, the sight was saintly. It was almost as if the stream of golden sunlight from the window above was shining on my grandfather’s face, to lead his pure soul heavenward.
Had I known the night before, I may not have just wished him goodnight. I may have wanted to tell him so many things. Thank him for reading to me, showing me the wonderful worlds of books…
As the years went by, as I grow older, I keep seeing how much more I had to thank him for.
For, although he passed away on Christmas Day, in life, he was the very spirit of Christmas.
Generous, patient, forgiving, always learning, joyful, simple and living life to the fullest.
In life, he was this quiet saint. My grandfather is so synonymous with Christmas that for every year, these past fourteen years, December 25 has always first been Christmas, and then the day that we lost our family’s most precious member.
And for that, I am grateful to god, for taking him away on a day that is known for the very values my grandfather lived by, reminding us to try and imbibe them in our lives.
My grandfather is our Christmas Star, our guiding light, looking out for us. I hope you’re having a ball of a time up there, Baba!