Today, it has been 8 years since Granddad died.
Don’t worry, this post is not intending to be a post for sympathy, more of a “shit me, that long ago!?!?” (The picture must be around 15 years ago!). Anyway, I’ll probably fail miserably, here goes.
I was very close to Granddad, as I was the first grandchild who didn’t live miles away in Liverpool, so I spent a lot of time with him. He was a unique character, eager to learn but never comfortable around adults. Stubborn as hell (wondered where I got it from), but had an amazing caring heart who looked after everybody who was close to him. He was my best friend, and I loved him to bits. This man could do no wrong in my eyes, and was brilliant at everything he put his hand to. In his life he fought in the war, an estate agent, TV repairman (repairman. How many of them do you know nowadays? Usually you buy a new TV), wrote for the local newspaper and built – and sailed – a boat to the Isle of Man and back. He bought me my first PC, and Olivetti P75 with 800MB hard disk and 24MB Ram. I say it was mine, it was really his, he wanted to learn how to use it, and how to go online. He was indistructible.
Or so I thought.
A few days after my 16th birthday he had a stroke that he never really recovered from. From then he seemed like he was a different person. It was a little painful, seeing this bastion of all things knowledgeable struggling to remember his own daughter’s name. I tried helping him, remember, but it was difficult. I believe he was still the same person, trying to get out of the body that was failing him.
My last memory of him was him being taken away in a wheelchair to a nursing hospital, where he died two weeks later.
When realisation came that we are only human and that we, along with Edd and Dizzy the Guinea Pigs, and Harry the Hamster, would die one day, I prepared myself that the one death that’d plunge me into depression would be Granddad’s. I prepared myself that I’d be a gibbering wreck for the rest of eternity.
When he actually died though, I was….fine. It was odd. I was the first to hear about it from Mum, who was struggling. I said something to her which made her stop crying. I would love to know what I said. And then we got our Gran, took her to Llandudno, and had a sandwich on the promenade.
It’s funny though, even though he died, I never shed a tear for him. I am not being manly, because I cry at the end of A.I., and I’m not being cold, because I miss him like crazy. I just knew that Granddad didn’t want to see me a gibbering wreck if he died.
I had a drink, or 5, for him last night (even though I’m not sure exactly what his tipple was), I’d give anything to know what he thinks of me and all I have achieved and all I’ve fucked up on. I’m sure he’d be ashamed of me (in the nicest possible way! He shared my self depreciating humour ).
Earlier this year, Eva (granddad’s sister) died after a long illness. She left a sizeable amount of money behind, which was shared out equally. However, one thing we did plan was for us all to go to the Pen Y Bryn for a slap up meal, and plenty of drinks. Basically, she’d approve of it and Granddad would love anything that brought the family together. I don’t believe death at their old age be sad. Sure I miss Granddad, but it should be a celebration of all they achieved.
Lord knows my funeral is going to be conducted in T-Shirts and Jeans, with “Ha Ha Your Dead” by Greenday being played, and then a few drinks after amongst my nearest and dearest.
But anyway, Granddad with his writing for the Daily Post late in his life is kind of responsible for what you are reading right now.
To you Granddad, wherever you may be, cheers!