My Grandfather

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The year 1932 will always stay in my memory, because that was the exact year in which my grandfather-the family member I respect most, was born. And it is the existence of my grandfather that brings the whole family together.

Grandpa was born in a small county in Jiangsu Province, China. Not having been born in a rich family and being the eldest son, grandpa endured hardships in his childhood. He had to take care of his brothers and sisters, and he shouldered most household jobs in the family. He was always the one to wear old clothes and eat the least of all children in the family to make sure his little brothers and sisters could live a better life, and also, to lighten the burden of his parents.

The experiences in his childhood made him grow up soon and mature. When the country called all young people to go to the less developed area in China-the Western area, to support the development there, grandpa immediately responded to the call and was sent to Sichuan Province at the age of 21. Grandpa would never regret this decision because he met the love of his life there. That was my grandmother, who also came to Sichuan because of the appeal.

And like many other families, they lived a simple but happy life. Both of them had nice jobs, and they had three lovely daughters. It seemed that life couldn’t be better for them. But everything changed in 1965. As the request of Vietnam Communist Party, China sent 80,000 people to Vietnam to support it, and my grandpa was one of them. Although he was 33 at that time, a little old to be in a war, he insisted going because he thought our country needed him, and he could make contributions.

For the next three years, the whole family received no messages from grandpa, and all family members worried about whether he was alive or not. Worse still, their eldest daughter was seriously ill in 1967. She had a high fever for half a month and the small clinic couldn’t find out the cause of this symptom. When she was finally sent to a larger hospital, it was too late. She died three days later because of meningitis, which made the whole family grievous. And she couldn’t have her father accompanied her in her last days. In 1968, grandpa came back home from Vietnam. Fortunately, he didn’t have bad injuries, but the loss of a daughter sent him into self-accusation. He thought if he was at home that time, his little girl would not die, and he was so regretted for not having seen his girl in the end.

After that, he worked even harder to compensate his wife and children, and he changed two jobs. First, the headmaster of a local vocational school, and second, a salesman, both of which had been done successfully. At the age of 55, he retired to enjoy his twilight years, and is still living a happy life now.

My grandfather lives a legendary life. It is filled with ups and downs, but everything happened just becomes the source of motivation to seek for better life for his family no matter in his childhood and adulthood. He is patriotic, but he does love his family. He is just so kind to want to devote himself to both his country and family.