Regretful Yet Thankful
My grandfather had passed away two years ago, diagnosed with liver cancer. It was a hard time for the whole family. His last six months was a painful memory that is unforgettable to us. Everything started when the doctor told our family that he was diagnosed with last stage of cancer a few months after our reconciliation with our long lost grandfather. When I was only three years old, both my grandparents from my father side decided to get a divorce. He had been seeing someone else when he is still holding his marital status with her. As a woman, she felt cheated by him. Thus she thought that the divorce was the best conclusion to end everything. However, that was not it. She wanted the big family to have no relationship with him. It was a time of shame for the big family because he did not just cheated my grandmother’s feeling but he also went against our race tradition in Indonesia.
In Indonesia there are two different races, the Chinese and the real native Indonesian. The tradition that goes from generation to generation clearly stated that Chinese should not be engaged in a relationship more than a friend with another race. It sounded racist but that’s how it goes in the Muslim dominated country. My grandfather wrongdoing has put all of the grandchildren’s future on stake. It will leave a scarce on our family background when all of us were going to get married later on. The alienation was a harsh thing but there was no other better choice.
... class is also a representation of a family’s financial capability. Race or ethnicity can represent cultures but not as ... In the article “The Color of Family Ties: Races, Class, Gender, and Extend Family involvement” by Naomi Gerstel and Natalia Sarkisian, there is ... significant than the race, gender, the education or even the class as the results in determining a family’s characteristics ...
Since we almost never met my grandfather after the incident, we did not know much about him. When we were just going to know more about him, the bad news came across. The only things that I knew about my grandfather were all the negative things. I wish that there would be more time for us, the grandchildren, to at least know more about his good side. In all our eyes, my grandfather was a cheater and someone that has no dignity. It was what we always hear a lot of times from my grandmother. Even now, she still cannot forgive and forget what the dead man had done.
It was my senior year in Singapore high school when my grandfather started to undergo his suffering. Since our family was the only one living in Singapore and have better financial to provide him with better medication. All the weight was put on our shoulder. My grandfather was staying in our small apartment and took up quite a lot of space. Moreover, he also has the contagious virus that speed up the spreading of the cancer. However, the only thing we could do was just grumbling and complaining about the current situation at that time. Even now, I could not imagine how I felt about the situation of living with someone who is going to face the death and still carrying virus. Since my grandfather was in pain he also make so much noise. It was not a smooth night everyday.
Luckily the situation got better when my grandfather undergo operation. He no longer stays at our house and he could receive a better service from the nurse. Not long after that he have to undergo chemotherapy. The first few therapy was effective and his health increase positively. However, just like the cancer patient cycle, one day his health drop straight from healthy to zero. He was rush to the hospital. It was too late and he left after a few hours of last stage suffering. Everything seems to happen so fast. We were still blown away by everything.
As my grandfather’s wishes, his body was buried in Indonesia, where he was born. We were then woke up from the shock and realize that an important figure in the family had just passed away. I was filled with regrets. I should have just treated him better. After all, he is still the biological father of my own father. I don’t think it was a memorable six months to my grandfather. I still remember how I use to ignore to any of his request and his so called “ interesting” childhood. All sentences that started with “IF” came across my mind. I don’t know what to do to make myself not to feel regret for someone who is not even on Earth anymore.
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Everything was different in my grandmother’s eye. She still cannot forgive to what he had done. She was really thankful that he is gone. She was the most evil old folk I ever met. She was able to say such things to someone who had passed away instead of showing her condolences. It was unexpected.