Life has its challenges, and only the strong can survive and thrive wherever fate lands them. It is the desire of every child to grow in the caring and loving hands of their parents; that is the haven that every child wishes for, albeit there may be problems or challenges there, the parents’ safe umbrella always provides solace. However, truth be told that not all find themselves in the so much desired state as fate may not favor them. This paper narrates my life story as a child who grew in the hands of my grandparents. It specifically focuses on his influence in my life and how that has influenced me up to the present day.
I was born in Saudi Arabia to parents whom I would then have described as very loving. However, we were destitute as they struggled to put food on the table for the family. It was even worse because my dad was the only working parent yet he had odd jobs, which only gave him a meager salary that could hardly sustain us. Consequently, he took on many jobs to try to sustain us, but it often proved not enough. My mom was equally hardworking, but the culture had it that women should not work. All the same, I remember the love, which she showered me with as though it was just yesterday. Every morning I would wake up to her beautiful smile even in the times when I knew there would be no breakfast. Her love and care covered for all the lack in the home although endless nights without food could not be tolerated forever, as they would only lead to death.
My father who was a similarly nice person, although I hardly saw him, worked many jobs to try to cover the deficit in our finances. Despite that, the lack and struggles remained evident to us, making us the scorn of the society. He also steadily lost employment because menial jobs are usually given on contractual basis. The problems would be worse during the time when he was jobless as he would sometimes be so stressed and never show up at home. The deterioration of the condition forced my parents to take me to my grandfather’s home, as he was at least financially stable in comparison to us. He embraced me with both hands, and I fitted almost instantly as I had often visited the place and spent my school holidays there. This made the place feel like a second home long before my parents transferred me there permanently. After a while, my parents left and promised to visit me every weekend. This happened for some few weeks before they completely disappeared from my life. I then knew that my grandfather was my adoptive parent, as he was all I knew for my provision, advice, care, and all the needs that I had.
I often say that the person I have become today is owed to the person that my granddad taught me to be. He continuously cultivated in me core values that I have held closely to date. One of the things he continually insisted on was love for all, as hate would do me no good. He said that abhorrence was too heavy a burden for any man to bear and constantly told me that holding grudges would make me die young. Consequently, he often said that being an unforgiving person would make me bitter in life and piling it up would only result in diseases such as cancer. One of his adages was that an unforgiving person is a time bomb that would blast anytime. He said that would be in from of diseases or even in heinous acts such as harming others. He also kept telling me to love even the people who hurt me for people who harm others are most likely psychologically sick. Due to that reason, he asked that I just let go the wrongs done to me and show them, love. Most times, I felt he said this because he felt like I was bitter with my parents who disappeared on me, and his constant guidance made it easy for me to let go the hurt and harm done to me.
In addition to that, he taught me the virtue of hard work, which would help me become an independent person as opposed to always relying on others. He was a successful businessperson who was well known in Saudi Arabia, but instead of spoiling me with money, he taught me to earn my living. He often allowed me to cut business deals with his clients and he would give me a share of the profit. Moreover, he would send me to make my own contracts outside his empire whereby the profits would all be mine. Consequently, I began doing business right from my high school days. Lack became a stranger to me, for now, I could raise and save my own money. Despite that, granddad continued meeting my needs for all my side hustles were meant to create a responsible person who could survive if left alone.
I felt as if he foresaw his departure and felt the urge to make me independent for at the age of 97 years; he died in his old age. I was left by the one person I had learned to depend on and virtues that he taught me. It was the saddest loss, as it felt even worse than the disappearance of my parents. However, I picked up the pieces fast and continued with life. First, I had saved enough money, so I was not broke at all. Secondly, I was part of the people he named as his next of kin, and that made me an heir to the fortune he left. Moreover, I continued making money because I was now an effective businessperson. Despite the money I had, I remembered he had always insisted that I must gain knowledge from the best institutions, making me apply for university admission in the United States.
Currently, I study in the United States a land where I knew no one, but my grandfather’s lesson while he lived helped me to thrive and survive even in such a territory. It was firstly shocking to come to a place where the culture wholly differed from my own, but I quickly adopted with the help of friends who had been there longer. Moreover, my moneymaking ability helped me survive as even here up have taken jobs that help me cater for my upkeep. I will always be grateful for the one man who made me a hard person who could survive any storm: my grandfather.