To my beloved grandfather, who left us on 5th November. Without you, I would not be where I am. Without your love, my world would have been colder. You will forever be in my heart and my prayers. 

 

A giant has fallen, and a piece of the sky he used to hold up came crashing down. This giant walked the earth for almost a century. His path took him across oceans to new shores, he lived through horrible wars, encountered endless struggles, persevere through turmoil and hardship. All this while, remaining upright, never compromising on his morals. Finally he found a place to call home. He built roads, houses and schools, but didn't quite succeed in building a loving family. Who could blame him? For he was unloved and unwanted in his youth. Giants were born during the time when the world was a cruel and terrifying place. Not many understood the concept of love or joy. Yet in spite of that, this giant tried to live a righteous life and helped to make the world a better place.

He did find love, but in his folly, squandered much of that away. Of nine children that he had, only one boy was as loyal and righteous has he had been. His third son. No matter how insensitive and brash the giant was, this boy still loved his father with all his innocent heart. The boy grew up strong in spirit and morals. The rest of the eight never learned to love the giant, even though he was their father. They grew up spineless and heartless, became corrupt and evil.

Decades passed, and the giant was now old. He had lost his strength and became weak. His glorious days were now gone. His ungrateful children began to steal from him, treated him unkindly and fervently plotted his death for they had hated the giant all their lives. The old giant helplessly watched on, unable to stand up for himself. His only protector now was his third son, single-handedly wielding a blunt sword, fending off those circling jackals.

The world was now a very different place, where good values like integrity and righteousness no longer were upheld and cherished. God looked down from heaven and decided to have mercy on the giant for even with all his flaws, the giant had done some good deeds in his younger years.

To the giant and his sole protector, God sent them three gifts. One was a panda, steadfast and loving, to keep old giant company and bring him some forgotten joy by making him laugh. One was a big hawk, keenly watching over the giant and guarding him from predators and attackers. One was an intelligent white dog, so faithful and resourceful, helping the son solve every problem in his quest to protect the giant.

In his old age, the giant learned about true love - he learned to love and be loved. He saw through all hearts - those who were kind and those who were evil. He learned to laugh - heartily and frequently. He finally experienced gratitude and humility.

Finally after a long life of crests and troughs, he had atoned for all his sins. When God saw that the giant had learned all of life's lessons that He had intended for him, it was time to leave this world. "Dear God, thank you for your mercy and grace," the giant said humbly. "All I ask is to bid farewell to my beloved son, the hawk who had diligently guarded me, the panda and the white dog who had loved me so unconditionally." God agreed. On one rainy day morning, everyone gathered beside the giant as he looked at each of the faces he had come to love. And then, in a blink of an eye, he was gone, like a mist, leaving behind all who had loved him in tears.

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