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My Grandfather : By John Zhao – Cupertino High School UN Story Challenge

My grandfather has Parkinson’s disease. He used to be a tall, athletic, smart man. As a high school student, he was a good basketball player. He even helped found a university in Shanghai. Having Parkinson’s disease has taken away most of his mobility and cognitive capabilities.

As a child, I almost always visited my grandparents in Shanghai during the summer. At first, I did not notice many problems with my grandfather. He had the habit of trembling in his legs and hands. As time went by, my grandfather started having problems moving around the house. He started falling down very often.

In the beginning of my sophomore year, my parents decided that my grandparents should visit us instead. I was responsible for taking care of him. My dad was working in China. Since my grandfather was a little heavy, I was the one who had to help prevent him falling on the ground. It was tiring and straining for me to always help him move around. I was not annoyed at my grandfather for demanding so much attention; I was frustrated that we could not find a good solution for my grandfather’s problem. It took time for me to cope with the painful situation that my grandfather had.

As time went by, I became closer to my grandfather. I started to change my perspective. Before, I felt sympathy when I had to help my grandfather get out of bed. My grandfather would always laugh and thank me. Although I was aware of his difficulties, I began to feel more assured that the small things I did made a difference. The help that I offered my grandfather boosted his morale and cheered him up. As of now, there is no cure for Parkinson’s disease, so I realized that the best thing I could do for my grandfather would be to make his stay more enjoyable.

I realized that nobody is going to stay forever, but it would be meaningless to spend time pessimistically. It would be more regrettable if I hadn’t shown my compassion for my grandfather. I realized that you only live once, so it would be best to create memories that are happy.

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