Sunday, 13 November 2011

Re-post: My hero

I don’t usually re-post my older blog posts but today is a very special day – it’s my grandfather’s birthday… or it would be if he was still alive. 
I have a need to re-post one of my oldest stories which, in my opinion, didn’t get the attention it deserves. It’s a story about my hero.

If I would have to choose one person who had the biggest impact on my life I would have chosen my grandfather. He passed away in the summer of 2001, just a couple of days before my twin sisters had their first birthday. I was 13 and his death was one of the hardest moments in my life…. I was his little princess and he was my hero… and still is…

I remember him taking me to the kindergarten every day. He helped me take off my shoes and jacket and that was the moment when I usually started crying. Then he quickly put my clothes back on, tied my shoelaces, and took me home. As this became an everyday thing, my parents decided that they won’t insist and I didn’t have to go to the kindergarten anymore, so my grandparents babysat me since they were retired and at home all the time. I was a spoiled child and I always got what I wanted, and staying at home was just one of my achievements. 

He was quite tall though I can’t remember how tall exactly. His hair was greyish and he always combed them backwards. He usually wore jeans and a checkered shirt with a cardigan on top. He laughed very loudly and his laugh was contagious. It still makes me laugh when I remember him laughing. We had our jokes that no one else understood and it makes me very sad that I don’t remember those anymore. He was a truck driver and that’s the main reason why I don’t get mad when a truck driver is slowly overtaking another truck on the highway, blocking the traffic. They’re just people whose job is to reach their destination as quickly as possible.

My grandfather loved cartoons and I still think that’s very cool. We had our little ritual – laying on the couch and watching cartoons after lunch. We usually both laughed our asses off and then we fell asleep. Those were the best of times… 

We both had trouble falling asleep so we usually stayed up very late. My mom didn’t like me staying up late so I went to bed and pretended to be asleep. And every night my grandfather came into my room to check on me before he went to bed. He opened the door very quietly, came to my bedside, and covered me with my blanket in his special way. I can’t explain how, but it’s a very nice memory. 

There’s one event I remember very clearly. It was my birthday and we had a little party for our family. I think it was my 7th or 8th birthday, I can’t remember exactly. I wore a knitted pink dress with a white cat on it. My parents let me to drink a sip of wine, just for the toast. My mom said something that made me cry and then she wanted to photograph me crying. I was running all over the house trying to escape from her and in the end, I ran into my grandfathers’ lap. He protected me from the camera but mom still made a photo of me crying in his lap (though you can’t see me crying on the photo). I still have this photo somewhere, I should find it. 

I already mentioned that I was a spoiled child so it doesn't come as a surprise that my grandfather drove me to school and came to pick me up after even though we live about one kilometre (0.6 miles) from the school. 

Once when we were alone at home we went out for pizza. Even though grandmother cooked something, I can’t recall exactly what it was but I think it was some kind of stew, we decided we wanted pizza. So we went to some pizza place and discovered they had pizza with fruit. Of course we ordered it and I think we liked it. That was the first and last time in my life that I ate pizza with fruit but now I have to try it again. When we finished we ordered pancakes for desert, which we both loved. He was known for having a sweet tooth.

He was the big boss in our house. When he commanded something, everyone obeyed. Luckily, I was his little princess so I was a bit privileged. But not always. If my cousin and I fought about something, grandfather always judged fairly. Ok, I have to admit that sometimes when it was my fault (which was very rarely) he didn’t punish me but I always felt guilty for disappointing him.

I always loved to listen to his stories. Because he was a truck driver he had so many exciting adventures to talk about. He was such a great storyteller that I could easily imagine everything he told me. It's too bad I was so young when he died because I didn’t understand some stories he told me about the war and living in Yugoslavia which I would love to hear now that I know more about these things. 

These are things I like to remember about him, not the bad days when he was fighting lung cancer and was exhausted and drained. Though I have to admit there isn’t one thing I would like to forget about him. Not even the day he died…


  1. This is a really lovely post. It sounds like he was a really great character; who you loved very much.

  2. You are a lucky girl to have such a wonderful grandfather. Fantastic post. Diane

  3. You're lucky to have a hero like your Grandfather, he sounds like he was a great man. Having family that you respect and love and who respect and love you is one of the best things in life.
    Thanks for this beautiful post! It reminded me I need to try to contact some of my family again. =)

  4. Your Grandfather sounds like a wonderful man and you describe how special he was to you so well. Lovely post and I'm glad you re-posted it.

  5. I've mentioned this post on my blog.

  6. This is a very well-written post, masha Allah. I felt as if I had stepped into your memories :). Your grandfather sounds like someone every little girl would love to know.