Parkinson’s stole my grandfather

2015-09-23 10:31
Deantha Govender is currently a Grade 11 pupil at The Wykeham Collegiate, where she has been since Grade RR. She loves to write both poetry and short stories. Deantha was very close to her grandfather and she would often visit him at his home, a few

Deantha Govender is currently a Grade 11 pupil at The Wykeham Collegiate, where she has been since Grade RR. She loves to write both poetry and short stories. Deantha was very close to her grandfather and she would often visit him at his home, a few

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PARKINSONS, the thief of the mind and body, is totally unpredictable and heartless.

I woke up to the powerful but pleasant sound of my grandfather’s daily visit. I ran up to him and leapt into his thick, muscular arms. His familiar cigarette smell drifted past as I hugged him tightly. We sat and had our breakfast together while he told me stories and sipped his tea casually.

He had the warmest smile and his loving and excitable eyes glistened through his spectacles. He sat so comfortably with his sturdy legs stretched out in front of him. His belly boep as full and bulbous as ever.

We said goodbye until the next day and he drove up the driveway. When he reached the top gate, he smashed into it. Nothing serious happened.

All that was damaged was his bumper, luckily. But we had no idea then that Parkinson’s had already crept up to my grandfather and had taken its first strike.

Grandfather visited Grandmother’s grave every day with some fresh, fragrant and beautiful flowers from the garden. I would occasionally tag along. We would sing along to songs and after we visited Grandmother, we would buy some sweets and gobble them down on the way home.

I stopped accompanying him after a while as I saw that my passenger seat was already taken by none other than Parkinson’s.

Grandfather’s daily visits were slowly and painfully dwindling as was he. He became clumsier as his driving was a hazard and the random push by Parkinson’s caused my grandfather to tumble and fall.

As Grandfather fell, so did his independence. Parkinson’s deliberately stole grandfather’s car and his ability to drive because Parkinson’s knew that that was the key to Grandfather’s freedom. No access to the sweetshop. No access to my grandmother. No access to my family and me. My grandfather was Parkinson’s prisoner.

Like dark poison, Parkinson’s oozed through my grandfather’s blood, paralysing his body and mind.

Grandfather soon became frail and brittle. He shuffled along with his flimsy, skinny legs and his trousers were loose and baggy on him. Tucked into his soft, cushioned slippers were his worn-out feet and his bony hand held firmly onto his walking stick.

His once thick, muscular arms, now a shadow of what they were, as they were deflated. Parkinson’s drained the life out of my grandfather’s once comforting and full face.

His warm smile faded and his eyes lost their glisten and were dull. His cheek bones protruded and the colour in his face seeped out. Grandfather’s belly boep was broken into and nothing remained.

Grandfather’s bubbly, humorous, talkative and lively personality was gradually torn apart and taken, and he soon became reserved and lonesome. As if to mock my grandfather, Parkinson’s then manipulated his voice. It was muted, jittery and shrill, as if Parkinson’s was pulling Grandfather’s vocal cords

For many people, the sixth age of man is a time to be with one’s family, to enjoy the peacefulness and to relax. In my grandfather’s situation, the sixth age was a time of prolonged pain and suffering. Parkinson’s took him over and he was pulled away from all the things he loved — his car, his hobbies, his abilities and his family.

Parkinson’s took everything away from him. Parkinson’s stole my grandfather.

Deantha Govender is currently a Grade 11 pupil at The Wykeham Collegiate, where she has been since Grade RR. She loves to write both poetry and short stories. Deantha was very close to her grandfather and she would often visit him at his home, a few roads down from her own in Pietermaritzburg. Deantha wrote this story for an English essay based on a Shakespeare poem Seven Ages of Man

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