Under the superstitious concept of the old generation in China, people refuse to go to hospital and to admit their disease though in very bad physical condition. In the age that they were young, China’s society lacked basic medical care and health services. Most people are lack of education. They don’t believe in science. They only have some traditional Chinese drugs and herbs when they are ill. However, it is uncommon to be ill and there’s seldom incurable disease in that time. My grandfather is one of these people. He also had the experiences of serving in the army when he was young. The experiences make him conservative and obstinate even more.
Last winter, he coughed seriously and concealed his bad physical condition to my mother and my two uncles until my grandmother found there’s trace of blood in his sputum and let my mom know. Every time my mom insisted to bring him to see a doctor, he showed impatience and angers. He was such a stubborn and strict person in my memories. Sometimes he said very excessive words which hurt my mom seriously. He once said that my mother’s insistence to bring him to see a doctor is a curse at him. Despite all that he did, I still think my grandfather is a kind man.
My family is not rich. My grandfather was a soldier and then a worker. From that age, he had deeper understanding on thrift and he saved money all the time. He refused to go to see a doctor since he didn’t want to spend money, which he saved with all his life time, paying for medicals and painful treatment. In addition, he didn’t want to become the heavy burden of my mother and my two uncles. He knew they all have jobs and support their families so hard. Finally, in my consideration, he terribly feared disease and death although he was such a strong and brave person. The fear towards death is a human’s nature.
My mom had no idea to help him, seeing he became weaker and weaker day by day. My mother finally decided to bring my grandparents to go to a trip. To release my grandfather’s mental pressure and to make him relaxed, my mom brought them to travel Xiamen, which is a big coastal city in China. However, it changed nothing and became his final happy time in his life. I saw my grandfathers’ smiles on the photos. Standing in front of the vast sea, he smiled openly and sincerely. I believe that in that moment, he felt his satisfied results of his sweat, struggle, persistence and every decision for the family in all his life.
He agreed to go to see a doctor after coming back. On February 2013, my grandfather was diagnosed lung cancer. Seriously, his entire left lung didn’t work anymore. The doctor told my mom that my grandfather had no more than six months to live. For me, I can’t image how grieved being told the time your closest relation has is one day. My mother talked to her two young brothers. Finally, they decided to conceal the truth. They told my grandfather that his disease is not serious and there’s something wrong in his throat. They persuaded my grandfather to stay in hospital and to receive “simple” treatment.
I stayed with my grandfather for a month in hospital. He loves me so much. My grandfather spent most of time with me when I was a child. He taught me playing Chinese chess. He brought me to catch birds and go fishing. He brought me to parks to do exercise. He made my favorite food every time I went to his house. There were too many happy moments we enjoyed together. I love him. Seeing his physical condition became worse and worse, I could do nothing but took care of him as best as I can. I brought breakfast for him every morning. I sat beside him and told him my life in America when he was on a drip. He listened to me carefully and asked me what cities look like in America, what people eat there and what they have there from time to time. Sometimes he laughed, sometimes he became confused. He listened to me carefully and happily although he can’t image what America looks like at all since he had never been educated. However, he was happy. From my words, he knew I have knowledge. He knew I live happily. He knew my life is different from his. He knew I have grown up and I am strong enough to take responsibility and live without his cares. For him, these things are enough. These things are all he pursued and strived in his life. He was so satisfied at that moment. I sobbed, turning round and trying to bring a cup of water for him.
His physical condition became worse and terrible rapidly. He slept most in the daytime. Oppositely, he felt extremely painful and awful in the evening. He can’t go to sleep all night. He didn’t want to talk to others. He showed impatience and mess of mind. He changed into another person I didn’t know. Sometimes, he cursed others, sometimes he broke things. I knew he was suffered great pain from both body and spirit. He could endure the pain from body, but he can’t accept the truth he was going to die. Sometimes, he treated the rest of his life positively, but the disease rode on him again and again. I sat beside him and watched him all night. When he napped, his face and body twitched unconsciously. I knew he was going far away from me. I knew he will never bring me to go fishing and cook my favorite food again. I knew he will never prepare a big meal in Chinese Spring Festival and share with us. He waked up, seeing I was sitting behind him. He sobbed, turning round and grabbed the railing of the bed tightly.
The summer was coming. It was the time I need to go back to campus, which is thousands miles far away my family, my grandfather and my memories with him. I went to the hospital and sat beside him. I told him take care and to be recovered as early as possible. I also wanted to say make my favorite food next time I go back. But I didn’t. He told me take care and study hard. He also wanted to promise that he will wait for me and say he will make my favorite food next time I come back. But he didn’t. We both clearly knew it is impossible to see each other after a year. My grandfather seized my hands tightly. He sobbed, lying down and telling me he was tired. I sobbed, turning round and going out the door quietly.
My grandfather died on September 2013. I didn’t see him at the end of his life. I didn’t go to his funeral. I missed him so much. Every night, when the world is silent, I miss him. I can’t see him again. I can’t tell him my stories of my second year abroad. I love him. I lost him.