What I wanted to tell Grandpa

28 Jan 2011By Navin Kumar, Singapore

My grandfather was suffering from dementia in his last few years. But I was about eight or nine then and never understood why he tended to forget things or do things slowly. He was a principal in his younger days and was very severe and strict with my mum and aunts. But to me and my sister, he was the most awesomest grandfather anyone could ever have. But I was an ungrateful, spoilt child who never stopped being demanding and whiny.

Whenever we were hungry he would go out and get us food and would take us on trips. I remember once when I was about 7, I was so frightened of the teacher in elementary school that I didn’t dare ask her to be allowed to go to the bathroom when I had a stomach ache and pooped in my pants. It was my grandfather who came and took me home and cleaned me up.

Yet in his final days, he suffered from pneumonia and couldn’t even speak or recognize me.

I still weep so much when I remember what a caring, loving man he was and how much he cared for me and my sister. Not being able to convey my love and gratitude in his final days still breaks my heart.

I implore everyone if you still have your parents or grandparents with you, treasure them, cherish them and let them you love them dearly. I didn’t get to tell me grandpa that and it still saddens me everyday.

This story was first posted as a comment on the video, Going Home, a fictional short film about dementia by Singapore Polytechnic students in 2010.