This is to my grandfather, to all good things he ever did. Funny thing is, when someone dies, some remember the pain they caused, other the happiness. Others just come at your house, pay their respects, as if it matters, then gossip about the dead man’s life with him standing there, placed in his coffin.
Because the world is such a horrible place some times, and because we should judge no one (simply because we would not know how when faced with contradictory facts and feelings), I will choose to remember the good things only.
Soon after turning 18, my grandfather went to war. WW II, that is. He never fired at human targets. “I only shot the air above me. Maybe that’s why God did not allow me to die in that war,” he used to tell us later on. And yes, God kept him alive, for 2 long years of being a prisoner in Siberia. He used to tell me how bad the POW experience was. Little food, lots of work, those who could not work anymore or come back after work were shot by the Russians.
He almost had the same fate one day. On the way back to the prisoners’ camp, he fell, as he was too weak. A friend of his carried him back and the doctor there treated him for a while. After the war, he came back and got married. He had two children, a boy and a girl from his first marriage. And another two, a boy and a girl, from his marriage with my grandmother.
In what blood is concerned, I have nothing to bond me with him. My mom was his step daughter. But for God knows what reason, he really loved me a lot. Maybe because I was the kind of child that never cried at night…Well, I used to wake up at 7 am and run into his kitchen. He would ask what I wanted. I would say doughnuts most of the times. Other times I would ask for food, not sweets. And he’d start cooking or baking right then.
When I grew up, I always went to visit him, although the relationship between him and my grandma was long buried. Maybe because he was part of my oldest memories (the cooking and baking happened until I was 3 and a half). Maybe because I felt all the kindness he spread on me. I always liked seeing him, eating whatever he gave me. Complicated dishes he cooked on his own. Jam and other sweets. He also used make me wooden swards and knifes to play.
The last time I saw him was about 3 months ago, the last time I went to my grandma’s. I had this strong feeling I needed to see him. And I went with my mom, who had not seen him in many years. It was nice and cozy there. Just like I remembered.
My grandfather was nothing close to a saint, my grandma and other distant memories of mine can tell stories on that topic. Still, he did enough good deeds for people to remember him. As for me, I will always miss him. May God rest his soul.