It was just a week before my seventeenth birthday. Party preparations had
started. My family never celebrated birthdays on a grand scale. However, this
was a double celebration. I had passed my A level examination with flying colors
and my parents thought this was an occasion to celebrate.
The whole house was
a hive of activity. Spring-cleaning started a week before. There was a
continuous hustle and bustle as everyone went about doing their share of the
work. Mama, who was the chief event organizer, was busy planning the budget and
the menu. Papa was in charge of paying for the different purchases. My siblings
were busy sending out the invitations. Even Grandpa, who enjoys watching his
favorite Cable TV from the comfort of his armchair, did not want to be left out.
He made numerous trips to town to run errands
Grandpa and I shared a special bond. Perhaps it was because I was
his oldest grandchild. He was always there for me and he would offer me his
shoulder to cry on whenever I was depressed.
Two days before my birthday,
Grandpa complained of chest pains. We rushed him to the hospital but he refused
to be admitted. He was given a lot of medicine instead. When he came home, he
remained in his room. Whenever I went into his room, he managed a smile. I could
see that he was very tired. the corners of his mouth and eyes had numerous
wrinkles while the skin on his skinny limbs had
shriveled. I felt a stab o pain in my heart each time I saw him.
was during the early hours of my birthday when I was awakened by my mother's
loud sobbing. I knew something was wrong. I rushed to Grandpa's room only to see
him lying motionless. Grandpa had died in his sleep. the realization hit me
like a bolt of lightning. Beside him, there
was a parcel with a birthday card stuck to it.
I only opened the present two
days after Grandpa's funeral. It was a laptop. Grandpa had withdrawn all his
savings to buy the laptop for me. It is the gift I treasure most in my life.
Whenever I sue it, I will always think of grandpa.