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FAMILY HERO:
ETSHTEYN MICHAEL
by Yana from Woodland Hills


Who is my hero? What a question! Well, it took me some time to figure out who that person is for me. My hero is my grandfather, who passed away about six years ago. He was a person who inspired me in many different ways. He was a person I really loved and I will never forget him.

My grandfatherís name was Etshteyn Michael. He was a professional and very popular opera singer in Russia. He was the one who taught me how to sing. I always wanted to become a singer as good as he was, but performing my own type of music. He used to tell me that I was really good when I was doing his opera songs in my own way. I knew all the words to every song and I would never shut up. But my grandfather would listen until the end and tell me that I was the best and applaud me. I was so happy when he did that, so I would never stop singing.

I remember going to his concert and at the end everyone would get up and start clapping. I was very proud of him, so I would go up to people and tell them that he was my grandpa and that some day I would be on stage like he was. My grandpa was the one who taught me that I should never give up on anything. He used to tell me how hard it was for him to become who he was at that time. I know that it was, and I saw how much he wanted to be the best, and he was. He was not only a singer, but also a writer, an actor, and a photographer, and he was great at everything he did.


I donít think I ever fought with my grandfather, for whatever he did was right for me and we always agreed on everything. Yes, I must admit that my grandpa could never say Ďnoí to me. Whatever I asked for, I would have the next day, but I wasnít spoiled. I always knew the norm. There are so many little things that my grandpa taught me that follow me everywhere and will for the rest of my life. For example, I know how to stand up for myself, and how to persist when I really want to accomplish something.

My grandpa was a diabetic. It was hard for him, especially for the last year of his life, for he had to take a lot of pills and go through a lot of stress. Thatís when he realized that he should take a break from stage and go on a big vacation/retirement.

It was very hard for him to realize that he was sixty years old and needed a break. And thatís when he started taking pictures of people and different things he thought were special. One day, grandpa and I went to the park. It was very early in the morning so there were no people outside. He took a picture of me singing with my mouth wide open. It ended up being a very good picture, so my grandpa sent it to some contest where it got first place and we got a free trip to Moscow. However we didnít go because my grandpa was too sick.

My grandpa was a workaholic who worked very hard to achieve everything he had. He didnít live a long life, but it was a happy one.

He taught me so much and I donít know how I would be if he had not helped me to step into the big world. When he passed away, it was very hard for me for a long time to be without him and to go on without him. I didnít go to the funeral, because my mama didnít want me to see my grandpa dead. (In Russia, when a person dies they keep the caskets open). So, in my mind he is still alive somewhere, living very happily. I feel like he is always around me, helping me, and I am trying to live my life by his rules, from his point of view. I will always love my grandpa. He is my hero.


Written by Yana from Woodland Hills
Last changed on: 6/6/2005 1:22:43 AM

 

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