my grandfather
05.14.09 / 3:21 pm

my grandfather was a dancer. in the old pictures in our family photo albums, he looks handsome, classic. of his four children, my mother's youngest sister was the only one to follow in his stead; the other three chose to become musicians instead. later in his life, he became an instructor, teaching others to dance with the enthusiasm gained through his experiences.

and then, without much warning, he began suffering from parkinson's disease. despite treatments and all of the help that my parents' life in america could give him, his condition deteriorated through the years. about a week ago, he contracted pneumonia, and the doctors told my family that these were likely to be his last days. the sickness was too much, like his body had finally run out of will to fight on his behalf. last night, my grandfather passed away.

my mother told me that she prayed for something to happen, to ease the burden on him and the rest of the family, though i don't imagine this is exactly what she meant. today she told me that at least it doesn't hurt him anymore. i also hope that wherever he may be now, he is finally whole again, no longer subject to the unfairness that characterized the end of his life. i don't much believe in heavens or hells, but i would like to believe that there is more to this existence than the tangible and temporal bodies we have. in this case, i hope that more than anything.

this sunday, my mother will fly to ukraine to be with her family while my father stays at home to babysit our dog and i stay here, in seattle, finishing the school year. and our lives will move on.