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A Tribute to the Hero In My Life

This is not a food blog post and if you’re wondering what it’s doing here…

Read on!

The reason where I am today and what I’m doing with my life would not have been possible without the man who I’m going to be talking about as you read further.

He has inspired me to push myself every day and get what I want. He is the reason behind all my endeavours and I know he’d be super proud of me.

If only I could send across to heaven some rum balls right now!

9 Years.

They’ve gone by so fast and my only wish would be if Jesus could send him back to us!

I wrote this in Class 9 as part of a school assignment. Some of you have already seen this. But for those of you who have not, I hope through this, you see how much he meant to me.

Losing someone dear to you is never easy!

‘He is my everything

He is my all

He is my everything

Both great and small

Though the storm clouds darken the sky, making everything blue

He is my everything

Dear Abba, I love you’

A hero for a child usually turns out to be the parents, elder sibling or ‘best-est’ friend. But for me, it is my Grandfather or my ‘Abba’

Mr Fredrick Peres or fondly known to everyone as Freddy is the HERO in my life. He was the son of Marian and Mary Peres and also happens to be my grandfather.

Freddy having been born of a noble family was everything that is just and true. He had very high ideals in life and cherished dignity and honour. He had sailed through a stormy journey but smiled all along. He was one of the bravest men that I had ever come across who always stood up for what he believed in. He was very loyal and has done everything right just to make his family happy and super proud of him.

My grandfather was a very determined man who worked extremely hard to get the best in life for his family. He was a very patient person and always said: ‘Unless you give time for things to happen, it will never.’

I have learned from him that if you want something in life, the only way to get it is to put in hard work, have a little courage in yourself and faith in God.

Born and raised in Mangalore, he and his family have had a tough life. They were a family of five brothers and four sisters which was difficult to manage but somehow their parents were able to give them a good education.

They have always been optimistic and that is why today each one of them is prosperous and have made something for themselves. All the boys had to work on the estates from a very tender age but still did not whine or complain, they were more than just happy to do it!

My family is definitely talented in every field possible. Whether it is music, art, dance, theatre, academics or sport. And each member is proud of each other for what they do. The Peres clan is massive but everyone makes it a point to meet up at least once in a while. This is what keeps us close-knitted.

Freddy had a colossal heart. Always willing to help people and was keen on charity. As a matter of fact, he was involved with many charitable associations such as the Vincent de Paul and lived the statement , ‘If you have two coats, keep one and give away the other to someone who will need it.’  He also educated lots of people with his knowledge. His one goal in life was that he could make it possible for all citizens of the world to have the opportunity to be called ‘educated’. He believed that money comes and goes but education is that one thing that will stay with you forever and you can get the best you want out of it.

I have also learnt from him that it is honourable to put yourself aside sometimes and let others step ahead of you and help them in every way you can, when you can. But on the contrary, I learnt that being aggressive and courageous to do what is right is the secret that will take you all the way to the top of the world.

There are many incidents that come to my mind which we have shared together. And I would like to share one of them with you.

The first four years of my life was spent in Dubai and so when I came to India, I hated going to school. One day, my grandfather asked me, ‘Riya, please don’t cry tomorrow?’ and I replied, ‘I will not cry Abba, as I am not going to school EVER again.’

These are those memories that are still safe in my heart. He always wanted to see that big smile on my face and felt like crying when I did.

He was my pride, my guide, my inspiration and even more my ‘bestest’ friend. No one in this world  could ever replace him. I never pictured him as a grandfather as he was very soft-spoken, gentle, calm, would never raise his voice and most of all very understanding.

When I took a liking for music, he was so proud of me. He would always be around when I practised the piano, encouraging and pushing me to all my limits. So I can proudly say that, I am the person I am today partly because of my ‘Abba’.

Being a Mangy, he was a smash hit at the regular parties. My grandmother always would say that he had two left feet but that did not bother him at all. He would dance away the night and after a couple of drinks would even start to sing. This just shows he was that person who loved life and enjoyed it to the fullest!

My grandfather was not the type of person who took shortcuts in life. He has taken the road less travelled which has made all the difference. He has never been afraid to stand out and be different. He had this charm that if a person spent about five minutes with him, they would be able to come back in another ten years and say that who could ever forget a man like him- such an amazing person!

Speaking of amazing, he had gone through hell in the early 2000’s when he was diagnosed with cancer (the most dreadful disease on this planet).  But that did not change anything in his life. He carried on doing his daily chores and simply enjoyed meeting and talking to people. And with that contagious smile of his, no one had the slightest clue of what he was exactly going through.

Even before he left us, he had celebrated his 75th Birthday, four months prior to his death having the time of his life.

He is the first man that I have ever come across to have survived cancer for almost seven years without one complain or even trying to find fault with anything or anyone.

He was indeed a man out of this planet!

Abba’s blessings and compliments is something that I grab every opportunity to earn his words of praise. Sometimes even though it is awfully hard to strive to my grandfather’s level of perfection, I always try my best to tread in his footsteps.

My ‘Abba’, a true success story has not only touched my life but he has motivated my spirit to untiring zeal. My heart swells with pride when I am called ‘Freddy’s grand-daughter’ and I am sure that my Abba looks down on me quite often
and feels the same.

He was clothed with utmost strength and dignity. He spoke with wisdom and love. He always said that he was the luckiest man on this earth to be blessed with such a beautiful family.

All the credit goes to you, my Abba!!! If not for you, I don’t know where we would be today.

He was such a gem of a person and a lovely man to be around with. There is not enough words in the dictionary to describe the kind of man he was. He was talented in his own way, definitely capable, responsible, noble, dignified, courageous, soft spoken and I can go on and on…

For him, his family always came first and that is something with deep pride I inherit from him. Family means everything. Without them having your back, you reach nowhere.

Abba, today I want to thank you for being the hero in my life, an inseparable element of my journey and the driving force behind my every success.

My only goal and purpose in life is to be just like my grandfather as I feel it would be the greatest gift I can give back to him.

Although I have to accept the fact that he is not with me today, I know he is always inside my soul, guiding me through every step I take and never leaving my side.

You are my Abba, my everything, I miss you a lot and want you to know that I am ever so grateful and privileged to be your grand-daughter and still cherish every moment I had with you even though I was unfortunate to get to spend only 11 years with you.

I also want you to know that I love you with all my heart and you will always be my hero, no matter what!

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