My Grandfather's Walking Stick

Patience is a virtue, or so they say. Personally, I had never witnessed patience, until age caught up with my grandfather, causing him to slow down to the point in which he needed a walking stick to be able to walk. “Slow but safe”, he used to tell me. “I’ll get there, eventually”, he often said. I never had a reason to doubt his word. Even if it took him twice as long as everyone else to get somewhere, he always walked tall, proud and with steady steps. I remember a time when my family and I were walking on the beach. My grandfather was 85 years old, struggling with cancer, but still walking happily by my side, with the help of his walking stick.   My parents and sisters got advantage since they walked at a faster pace, but instead, I chose to walk slower with my grandfather. Eventually, my family was so far away from us, they were almost invisible to the eye, leaving the whole beach for the two of us. As we walked, I kept thinking to myself how hard it was for me to keep up with him, completely ignorant to how he must have been feeling. Politely, I asked. He explained to me how hard it was at first to get used to the “slow life”, everything seemed to be passing by so fast, leaving him behind, left out, and sometimes ignored. But then, he started getting used to the slower pace and enjoying it a lot more. I was intrigued, how could he be so optimistic about his condition?  He opened my eyes. He taught me that when you take things slow, you have the opportunity to see things in a whole new perspective; you get to really appreciate even the smallest of things. “Life is not a race, it doesn’t matter how fast you walk or how much help you need, you’ll get to the end, eventually.”


 He shared with me those words of wisdom. We continued walking in silence. I was processing what I just learned and he was grunting a little because of the pain, but never grumbling.  After walking by his side for the following months, I understand now how hard it must have been for him to see everyone walking past him with so much rush and not being capable of doing the same, how much it must have hurt him to feel like he was being left behind. Despite that, he never complained, not once, he enjoyed every single one of his slow, steady steps until he couldn’t do it anymore. 

Author's Notes/Comments: 

This is a poem about my late grandfather whom I love and admire very much. 

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