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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 grandfather’s 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 don’t 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 ‘no’ to me. Whatever I asked for, I would have the next day, but I wasn’t 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. That’s 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 that’s 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 didn’t go because my grandpa was too sick.

My grandpa was a workaholic who worked very hard to achieve everything he had. He didn’t live a long life, but it was a happy one.

He taught me so much and I don’t 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 didn’t go to the funeral, because my mama didn’t 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.

Page created on 6/6/2005 1:22:42 AM

Last edited 1/5/2017 10:44:31 PM

The beliefs, viewpoints and opinions expressed in this hero submission on the website are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the beliefs, viewpoints and opinions of The MY HERO Project and its staff.
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