PROMPT: Describe a circumstance, obstacle or conflict in your life, and the skills and resources you used to resolve it. Did it change you? If so, how?
Seventy years. Seven decades, seven-tenth of a century. This was the length of my beloved grandfather's life. When I came into this world, he already retired from his job of being a principal for children of poor tribal backgrounds in a small village in India. He witnessed sixteen years of my life including the day I was born. He was my hero, my guardian angel and most importantly my best friend as a child. He taught me always to respect others regardless of social background, to have a kind heart, to always listen to others in need. Sadly, approximately twenty of his seventy years were spent suffering from diabetes and the final two years of my grandfather's life was spent bed-ridden.
It was a chilly November Friday evening last year, I was out with my friends playing a grueling three hours of soccer. Unbeknownst to me, my phone was ringing continuously for five minutes. When I finally answered my sister, in a somber mood, told me in an unclear voice that my pet rabbit passed away. Atleast that was what I heard her saying, so I immediately contacted my father who seemed to be in a big hurry as if something was bothering him. But I do vividly recount those three words he told me which were "Come Home Now". I ran home afterwards, and saw several cars, belonging to close family friends, parked in front of my house. I thought to myself, are all these people here for the funeral of my pet or is there something more sinister? Something was boiling beneath the surface, I had a feeling of uncertainty as if some major event just occurred. My suspicions were confirmed when one of my closest family friends broke the news to me. Your grandfather has passed. It took me ten minutes to process it, my super-hero, my guardian angel, is gone. How is this even possible?
Literally five minutes after I returned home, my parents and my sister were stepping out of the house. I knew they were leaving to India for the funeral, so I asked my father when he will be back. He replied simply by saying "I don't know", then he vanished into thin air along with the rest of my family. Then an eerie silence took over my house as I finally realized that I'm going to be home alone for an indefinite time. Luckily I had enough money to last the week, but what if my family was gone for longer? How would I cope with that?
Above all, my grandfather's passing took place at the worst possible time imaginable. I was set to take almost two tests per day from all my classes and write a long essay for English class; all in the matter of a week. Part of me wanted to inform my teachers and let them know of the bleak news so that they could be more lenient towards me. But the better part of me wanted to do only one thing, and that was to rise up and take up the challenge of being the "man of the house" in short notice. A day after the terrible news, I immediately set out to work through the large collection work that needed to be completed, and prepare for the endless rounds of tests I had to take. Even on the weekend, I woke up at 6 am every day and worked until 9 pm. I was determined to not let this major setback in my life take control of me and make me weak. While I toiled endlessly the wise words of my grandfather always filled my head, "whenever you get knocked down, you come back up, when you get knocked down again, you came back up again and if you keep repeating this, eventually you'll win."
But another tragedy struck, my Internet was shut down. I couldn't resolve it as my Internet provider needed personal information from my father to allow a reconnection. But he was out of the country and was in an area where telecommunications was limited. This was the breaking point for me, even though I found out that my family was coming back in a few days, I honestly thought I'd give up. But I wasn't done yet; I just stepped up a notch and pushed harder to finish all of my work and to study for the flood of my exams.
In the end, I managed to survive setback after setback without a scratch. Well emotionally speaking I was scarred, but my physical well-being was unaffected. I scored decently well on the exams I was supposed to take, I managed to finish the boatload of work due. In a way this tragedy prepared in me in some way for the rigors of college as I will be without my parents and I have to put in several hours into course-work every day. Through this experience, I learned that no matter what happens, no matter what obstacle is thrown at you in life, you keep fighting, you don't step down and cower, you step up and shine, eventually you're hard work will pay off in terms of personal satisfaction or even school-grades.