An ordinary man who loved ordinary folks.

My grandfather is the man I appreciate. In novels, heroes save the day and are appreciated by villagers they rescue. Well, my grandfather is not a hero, but an ordinary man who loved ordinary folks. I'd always been the apple of my grandfather's eye since I was the little baby girl he witnessed the birth and growing up of since he had no daughter. Honestly, I don't remember much, having forgotten how sweet and fleeting those precious memories were. But, I do remember this. My grandfather's health had been deteriorating. In the blink of an eye, a healthy, enigmatic man had transformed into a shrivelled prune, tubes stuck into his body at awkward and painful angles, his mind a whirlwind and clutter. The road downhill was steep, so very, very steep. My grandfather, adamant and stubborn, insisted on clinging desperately to life instead of letting go. I was so very scared and fearful of losing what was most precious to me, but I couldn't offer anything but my silent prayer to God to help my grandfather leave this transient life in peace. What could I do? One night, I walked to my grandfather's bedside and asked him a for a seemingly simple request: for him to write my name - the name he had given me at birth. Old and fragile as a wilting flower, he lifted his arm. The arm was trembling. I immediately asked him not to force himself upon seeing that he was shaking so uncontrollably. He insisted and I handed him a rough piece of paper as well as a blue ballpoint pen. Then, slowly and perhaps not so surely, he wrote the traditional Chinese characters that made up my name, excluding my surname. He hesitated before writing the second character and eventually wrote a character that though had the same hanyu pinyin, wasn't my name. My grandfather even wrote something else that I was unable to decipher, which I believe was part of a song he loved to sing to my brother and me. Those ten simple characters as well as music we used to sing together is what reminds me of my grandfather even today, after he had passed on. He gave me the gift of song, the love of writing and of course, the most precious yet overused word in the dictionary: love. He did it for me, writing my name, those lyrics, probably understanding that his time was near and I was couldn't bear a goodbye. He left behind a girl who was ready to love others and care, even when it was difficult to do so. And that girl is me.
Rosella Laura