You Don’t Know What You Have Until It’s Gone – A True Story
April 06, 2012

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The saying, “You don’t know what you have until it’s gone” is absolutely true. However, many times people often don’t realize it until the situation has come and passed. There has been an event in my life in which this phrase was extremely relevant. Never the less, I was lucky enough to nip it in the bud and take the opportunity to have it before it was gone.

Last summer was a very tough time in my life. My grandfather (my mothers dad) had been diagnosed with cancer about two years earlier and was waiting for his last day. It was the beginning of June when my mother asked if I could stay with my grandfather at his house during the day.

His nurses told her that there had to be some one there to watch him or else he would be placed into a nursing home.  My mother had to work and since I was home from school she thought I would be the perfect person to ask.

Even though I have always been around my grandparents growing up, it had been somewhat difficult to grasp a strong relationship with them because of the language barrier.  I am full-blooded Portuguese and my grandparents barely spoke any English.  Due to being able to understand most of the language I could speak with them here and there, but never a full-length conversation.  I saw this as an opportunity to not only look after the person I loved so much but to spend quality time with him. The time I never really got the chance to experience with my grandfather.

I willingly said that I would do it. My mother then told me that she was going to figure something out in which I would get paid for the time I spent there.  I didn’t say anything in response at the time.

The first summer day came that I would begin staying with my grandfather. I was actually taking summer classes online at the time so I had a lot to do while I was there. I chatted with my grandpa making sure he was okay and had everything he needed. He was a little grouchy about needing to have someone there. Because he was such an independent man, he didn’t see the need for it.  As the day went on he watched the Portuguese channel on the television and sat on his recliner as I sat across from him on my computer. The days after that were a lot similar. Some days my little cousins would go over and spend time with us, which I loved because I rather have them there with me then out causing trouble.

My friends would all ask me, “Doesn’t that bother you that you have to go to your grandfathers house every day?” I would respond with, “No. I actually love spending time with him, I know that I won’t be able to for much longer.”

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