Through The Eye Of The Needle

My grandfather was a top engineer at a large steel firm throughout his life. He was involved in many patents and was a brilliant scientific man. Much more than that he was a great humanitarian and intellectual. He was a family man with nine children who have grown into a large scientific family. He was a man who travelled the world and practiced his trade among the best of them. In 1987, when I was eighteen years old he died of cancer.

I was at his bedside shortly before he died. He was taken up in ‘Little Company of Mary’s’ a Catholic run hospital that tended to terminally ill patients. As a child I had travelled the country along with him and my grandmother and had had untold pleasures and adventures. I had virtually grown up in their place as my second home. As I entered the room he was lying there under sedation; relaxing despite the pain, and we greeted.

We didn’t talk much on account of his condition, but I sat there a good long while and just kept him company without saying a word. A lifetime of memories flashed through my mind as I sat there and comforted him. Time passed without notice, and I probably realized somehow that I would never see him again. Nonetheless I just sat there and let him rest while I kept him company. Our lives where intertwined in a moment as he had been all of our lives. I sat and waited. I let him rest. Time passed without either of us saying a word.

It was a passing of the torch; of all that he had stood for. His ideals of liberty, equality and justice were passed onto me. His ways of science and reason. His acceptance of all things with a quite a serene dignity, even unto the end. My life would never be the same thereafter. Though he died, his spirit would live on within me, as I am sure it will all of us.

After a long time the nurse came and I bid him farewell. He seemed at peace as he rested. I met my girlfriend in the reception area, and we drove home without saying a word…