The student news site of Los Altos High School in Los Altos, California

The Talon

The student news site of Los Altos High School in Los Altos, California

The Talon

The student news site of Los Altos High School in Los Altos, California

The Talon

Guest Columnist of the Issue: This One’s For the Grandparents’

There are so many things I never appreciated about my grandparents:

The way my grandma and grandpa managed to stay madly in love after 52 years of marriage, their insistence on never paying for a haircut when they have their own scissors at home, my grandfather’s awful jokes (“What do you call a fish with no eye? Fshhh”), and my grandmother’s bright white hair that a hummingbird once mistook for nesting material and plucked from her head.

My grandparents have always loved me unconditionally, even when I was too young to do the same. I still feel ashamed of the time they visited in sixth grade and my grandma walked me home, but I was embarrassed by her colorful muumuu and crossed to the opposite side of the street.

But the thing I appreciated least of all about my grandparents is the fact that they won’t always be here.

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My grandma had surgery on a brain aneurysm a week ago, and while it seemed to be completed successfully at the time, two days later she had a stroke. My mom’s been in Florida since, reporting updates via Skype. Even through the pixilated video I can see the tears she tries to hold back as she swears she felt Grandma’s eyes listening when she told her about the scholarship I just received.

It seems that the most amazing thing about grandparents is also the most fragile, and the most obvious: they’re old. They’ve lived a long time and they have a lot of stories. I wish now that I took the time to listen to more of them.

“When I first met your grandfather in college, he was so handsome and charming,” my grandma once told me. “Little did I know that 50 years later, I’d still be stuck with him!”

I know disturbingly little about those 50 years, or the ones before my grandparents met. I know my grandpa was in an internment camp in the Philippines during World War II, but I never asked him to tell me about it. I know even less about my grandma’s childhood. And while all grandparents eventually reach the age when it is time for their souls to move on, it seems a pity if their lifetime of stories cannot stay behind.

As of now, the doctors say there is nothing we can do but wait, and there is nothing I can do but hope I haven’t waited too long.

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