They say we don’t recognize the significant moments of our lives as they are happening. We seldom catch a glimpse of the consequences of our actions. We are not as good a prophets as we’d like to believe.
Simply put, the only part we can understand, and even that in a small way, is the past.
After a moment is gone, after we have understood the consequences, after we have wept and suffered and healed, that’s when we realize its importance.
The first person I truly admired was my grandfather. He left this small village when he was fourteen years old, travelling barefoot for close to 40 miles to find a job in the closest city.
He dreamed of a better life, and he worked hard to make that dream a reality.
Of course, I met him in his later years, when he had already acquired the wisdom of years and years of failures and experiences had shaped him into the kind of person whose advice you’d follow.
He was also a stoic. Struggling with various diseases for the last 25 years of his life, he never once complained.
He was admired, respected, and loved by many.
I took great pleasure to listen to him speak, as we’d walk around a park close to his home. I would listen to everything he had to say, for I was fascinated by the way people’s faces lit up when they talked about him.
Sometimes you get to see a bit inside a man’s heart, what is truly there, in the smiles of those whose lives he has affected.
But the last time I saw him… he was at the hospital. My grandmother and my mother were there. And for the first time, he was scared. He grabbed my hand and stared me in the eyes.
I’m not the affectionate time, but I wished to tell him I loved him. I didn’t.
And I never got to see him again.
Looking back at this moment, I wish I could have said those words. After all, they were true. After all, I was so scared to tell him this because it was so, so true.
Yet I didn’t.
And it is true what they say.. nothing haunts us more than the things we don’t say…