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A Dedication to Grandma from Alp Peker

tomar una pastilla de viagra enter levitra lakehead viagra brighton uk follow site formatted paper cialis franklin farm personal statements for psychology get link cal poly san luis obispo creative writing write my essay introduction free resume help denver mokingbird essays custom writting the help essay on racism go site informal essay samples atlas shrugged essay contest are there different strengths of viagra filagra viagra soft-100 chewable get link cheaper viagra alternative hypothesis calculator carters ideal typewriter ribbon and carbon paper holder levitra sunol levitra bethel park viagra full dose viagra stop stop stop lyrics english writing forums argumentative essay writing This is a photograph of my grandfather and me in a city called Izmir, Turkey. It was a summer afternoon, and I had said to my grandfather, “I will put these sticky notes on a line with a copper wire, then I’ll put the line under our eyes, is that alright for you?” It was alright. He enjoys my art. I think he is proud of the direction I’ve taken my life in art, and he definitely loves this photograph.


I dedicate this photograph to my grandmother whom we lost eight years ago to breast cancer. She has always encouraged me to see colors in life. I think that’s the subconscious idea behind this photograph.


My grandfather is 82 years old. He has defeated Stage 4 gastric lymphoma in the last four years. He was hospitalized in the same hospital I work in as a student. Back then, when my classes were finished, I would just go to his room, and we would talk, have fun, watch TV, and solve crossword puzzles. We both love crosswords; it’s a hobby he has passed down to me. 


The whole treatment procedure took almost two years, but he always kept a positive attitude about his situation. He showed up to every chemotherapy and radiotherapy session, and he has been going to all his controls and check-ups ever since. He has defeated a type of cancer that is very hard to treat. 


My grandfather had a very full life. He started a career in sports and began in the Turkish football leagues in Istanbul when he was 14. He moved on to working in a fabric factory and later changed cities to focus on his education while transferring to different football teams. He came to Izmir in 1958, and while being in a football league, also finished studying economics at the university there. After marrying my grandmother in Izmir, my grandfather became a soldier and worked as a military bus driver for two years. Later, he started a job in the poultry business, and my mother was born. My grandparents settled their lives until there was a fire, and their business went down. With all the money my grandparents had earned, they took the family on a trip to Europe. One day they stayed at a hostel; on another day, they slept in the car. They traveled to Sofia, Nice, Budapest, Zurich, and Genova. It wasn’t until they hit San Remo that they learned there had been a military coup and a revolution back in Turkey. It was around the ’80s. Because of the state of emergency and all the confusion, they could not return to Turkey until about a month later. When they returned, my grandfather became a chef and food products manager for tourist hotels around Izmir. Now he is retired and enjoying life.


As a fifth-year medical student, there is one thing that scares me the most about getting older: dementia. I see that my grandfather has done everything to protect himself from dementia. He has always been a sports person and has traveled a lot. He has seen many different places and has worked in many different occupations. He is always keeping himself busy with crosswords and mind games. And, most importantly, I think he is open-minded. To be stuck in societal norms and inhibit ourselves from doing the things we truly want, keeping ourselves in a closed, black box—I think that is the start of an unfulfilled life. Take your life into your own hands. Don’t let society own it. This is the healthiest advice I can pull from my grandfather.


Photograph and words by Alp Peker

featured in the 9th Issue of Undo Magazine. 

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