Reflecting on the Memories of Being His Granddaughter


Firsts. Firsts hold a special meaning in everyone’s life. Firsts have special memories. Be it your first medal, your first job or your first love. A year back she got her first. Her first long write-up. And nothing could be more special.

Her first had memories, her first had emotions, her first had love, her first had ardor and her first had “him.”

A year back nothing changed, but nothing remained the same. The man she adored, she loved, left her, forever. It’s been a year the grandchild in her still misses her grandfather. He had Parkinson’s disease. A disease she wished no one ever struggled with. It was hard to see, that man, who was independent, who raised his daughter like a mother, who managed both house and work after his wife passed away early, struggled like this. In such times you think, no matter how advanced science and medicine is, we humans will always have limitations. With time his memory faded, his communication became weak, he was debilitated. He wouldn’t recognize people, people would not understand what he spoke. But, never did a time come when he did not recognize her and never did she not understand what he spoke. Even in that state his second question to her would be “How are you?” without a fail. He would laugh, giggle, crack a joke when she would call or meet him. Such was their love.

Death of a loved one is a life-changing event. She thought nothing would be the same, ever. As time passed, she got back to work, she found pieces of herself coming back together. Eventually each day looked just like it used to be before.

Life got back on track. 

Sitting under the moonlit sky that day, she wondered, something somewhere was not right, something was not the same. What had changed? Everything was the same. Her work, her relationships, people around, daily chores, beautiful moments and hardships; all were the same. They all existed and existed just like before.

Everything was normal but deep down everything was different. Nothing was the same. Work appreciations were not accompanied by his pat on her back. Relationships missed his lessons. People around reminded her of him. Daily chores were incomplete without talking to him. Beautiful moments had an emptiness. Hardships stumbled without his support.

Life got back on track but the journey wasn’t swift like before.

It would be a year but it felt like ages. He is missed today as much as he was missed on the first day of his departure. And he is loved today as much as he loved her when he took her in his arms for the first time.

Today, she loved him even more, she adored even more and she spoke about him even more. In his memories she found solace. In his way of life she found grace. In his lessons she found strength.

Indeed, he was, is and will always be her favorite man in this whole wide world.

Happy Birthday Grandpa!

We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here.


Find this story helpful? Share it with someone you care about.


Related to Parkinson's Disease

Businesswoman with to go coffee looking in purse at cafe.

What You Can’t Always See About Living With Parkinson's Disease

In November of 2015, I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease (PD). I had told my primary care doctor  I was having problems writing. She referred me to a neurologist who, after some movement tests, told me I had PD. Now other strange things that had been occurring in my body seemed to add further fuel to that diagnosis. I was [...]
Muhammad Ali

A Thank You to Muhammad Ali, Who Reminded Me My Diagnoses Do Not Define Me

On Saturday, I woke up to the very sad news of Muhammad Ali’s passing. Once again the world has lost a hero, one of far too many this year. Ali was one of the world’s greatest boxers and men. He fought for human rights. He fought for equality. He fought for peace. Then, he had, in my opinion, the [...]
maddie petersil and her dad on a couch

The Lesson You've Taught Me, Daddy, as You Fight Parkinson's Disease and Dementia

Dear Dad, I’m writing you this letter to tell you what I’ve learned — what you’ve taught me. The powerful stuff, the stuff that resonates deeply and entirely. Some of it I know was intentional, while another aspect of it I know wasn’t. You didn’t ask to get sick or to be on hospice at [...]
The author jumping on the beach

When Life Slows You Down, Smell the Roses

Today I drove my friend to cataract surgery. We had a good chuckle as we are getting to that stage of our lives. We are not that old, but in times past, we used to drive together to dance classes. Now we take each other to doctor’s appointments. Even funnier was when she was finished and sitting in [...]