As I entered my grandmother’s house one evening, usually greeted by a joyous “hello” from my grandmother, that evening I was greeted only by a creepy silence. As I cautiously proceeded to walk deeper into the abnormally quiet house, searching every room eagerly for my grandmother my innocent curiosity suddenly stopped by a horrifying scream from my grandmother, as she fail to her knees gasping for some air, clawing anxiously at her chest, fighting to survive a severe heart attack. Even though that moment happened ten years ago I still remember the terror of that day. None the less it was a moment that would forever change my life.
As I slowly walked into the living room, a painful sight met my eyes. Lying face down on a couch, my grandma lied red-faced and shaken. Suddenly, she was gulping for air to breath. First, she grabbed a trash can, forcing it into her face while vomiting with such violence that I was enveloped in a cold dark fear, feeling far from cruel for any child to look at. Still at seven years old, I had faced the terror of a heart attack in my own house, and experienced, for the first time, the reality that I could lose the person that was so close to me. After a while she looked at me from the corner of her eye as she slowly raised her head from the trash can, speaking delicately saying, “Hi,” only to vomit again while missing the trash can. My uncle looked at me in my watery eyes, putting his hand over my back, and said, “Let your grandma rest; she has been fighting very hard.”
My grandma, the love of my life, was now fighting to survive, everyday of her life. After the doctors said that she only had few weeks to live, I began to worry. The thought of growing up without a grandmother and having the only person to live with, began to press down on my shoulders and the loneliness began to take over me. I always felt separated from all my friends. In elementary and middle school I was quiet, shy and lonely. I was felling so depressed that I could not even look into the eyes of people who spoke to me. All the kids in the school called me a “bum,” and I became an easy target for bullying. Soon after the bullying and depression made my grades to decrease and as my grades started to decrease, so did my confidence, but it also made me feel that I had disappointed my grandmother, who cared so much about education when she was healthy. I was humiliated with every report card I showed her, knowing that she was disappointed.
One day, I decided that I was going to change my life. Listening to other students’ stories of how well they did in school, I recalled my uncle’s words: “Let your grandma rest; she has been fighting very hard.” I then realized that the example of how to change my life had been ahead of me the entire time. My grandma had fought and struggled to survive her heart attack. By fighting it and surviving to live another day with her family, she had taught me in clear way that I should never give up and that I could pass any obstacles, so that I could create a better life for myself. I shaped my mind so that I would face the world bravely as my grandma did, and to would put off with the tension I had, which had controlled my personality. I decided to shine as a student, and to prove my grades, and my talent with a moving passion. I decided to have no more delays, no more fear, and most importantly, I had decided not to give up.
More than any other turning point I had approached, I was proud of my success in knocking over my shyness. In ninth grade, I made the decision to join an ESL class, which would urge me to frequently talk with my classmates. I knew that my role as a student and class leader would teach me to speak confidently. My participation in this program worked and improved my personality in a way I never thought possible. I now feel at ease among my peers. I am satisfied with the things I have changed in my life, and I owe the entire honor to my grandmother who has been there by my side. Even as a poorly sick hearted patient, surrounded by doctors, her example taught me to face challenges and to take priority over them; no matter the nature of the challenges.
Her struggles with her heart attacks became an example for me to improve myself. Even now, I continue to battle with some of life’s adversities but despite the challenges, I continue unaffected, knowing that the best of my ability is my courage to live life bravely like my grandma did and to overcome the challenges of life. I can never thank my grandma enough for what she has given me. My grandmother has become my role model, and I hope that one day, many years from now she will say to me, “I am proud of you my grandson; you have been fighting very hard.”