The way the world works.
Humans are more fragile than we think.
They can shrink so easily.
But my grandpa, can walk around the whole world in one breath.
Don’t convince me otherwise.
He is still strong,
With every hospital visit, monitor beeps, nurse footsteps, test results
He is there, as present as ever.
Sometimes I don’t understand why the universe needs to test the greatest individuals.
Why bad things happen to good people,
Or why tears have been visiting me a lot lately.
Has the world always been so cruel,
Or am I just old enough to understand now?
That this world wasn’t meant for us anyway…
Still, I keep my head high,
Because that’s what my grandpa taught me to do.
As a kid
I would imitate the way he walked
Hands locked behind his back, shoulders straight
He still does that today
Except it’s a little harder for him.
Seedo means grandpa,
But it also means plenty of bear hugs,
And teaming up to bug my parents.
There are oceans between us
But our bond is the greatest bridge.
Maybe it’s because I was the first to call him Seedo
You bet your lucky penny this granddaughter is special.
Seedo still calls me to talk about the news.
He knows I’m the only one that gets it.
We talk for hours,
Cursing out the same people
Longing for a free motherland.
I love hearing his stories, his opinions,
I love my grandpa –
Even when he tells me to stop drinking coffee.
He’s always been my greatest champion,
Always cheered me on, always made my dreams seem reachable.
Always said, “I can’t wait to see you on Al Jazeera,”
And I always laugh because he knows I don’t want to do that.
He knows everything
Except how to make his pain go away.
And that kills me,
Because there’s nothing I want more
Than for him to feel like himself again.
There’s nothing I want more
Than to be there for him the way he has for me.
They say it’s supposed to make him stronger,
But weak first.
I refuse to believe anything can knock him down.
Because I won’t let it
And neither will he.
Denial is sometimes easier,
I fall into the trap often,
But I’m getting better.
For now, I pray.
I know God hears me,
I know he hears my whispered prayers,
My desperate pleas.
I know he knows my bond with Seedo is unbreakable
And that’s why it’ll all be okay, God-willing.
Painting by Glenda Okiev; reproduction of “Playing Checkers”