Thursday, 24 July 2014

ON MY MIND | Remembering my Grandfather.

She was 5 years old. Like any other school day, her father drove her to school. "Remember to come pick me up okay Daddy. And don't be late," she told him.

Her father then drove the family car to their local mechanic, leaving a handwritten letter on the dash for his wife. Her father told the mechanic to phone his wife and ask her to pick up the car.

His wife was pregnant with their second child. The letter from the little girl's father said he was leaving and to not try to find him as he would not be coming home. The little girl's mother and grandparents went to pick her up from school. "Where's Daddy?" she asked. "He's run away. We don't know where he has gone," her mother told her as she fought back tears of her own. 

The little girl went home that afternoon and looked at the last gift from father. A pen holder that was still sitting on her small table. She looked around the house confused about what had just happened -- unaware their lives were about to change.

My Grandfather and I.

That little girl was me. I remember this story on the 3rd anniversary of my Grandfather's passing. I did not have a father growing up. Not in the traditional sense. I had my Grandfather. He was a father and Grandfather in one, and today I missed him very much.

Grandad used to walk me home to their house after pre-school. He would carry my boxy green port, and often have to pick me up as well whenever I saw a dog come close (i.e. 10 metres away lol). 

We would often play card games such as Snap. And I'm certain he knew I had rigged the game by organising the cards so I would win. Everytime. 

And Grandad would watch my favourite tv show, Monkey Magic with me after dinner. And then Grandma would treat me to Arnott's Gingernut biscuits, Scotch Fingers or Monte Carlos before bed. 

Grandad taught me how to make my bed. How to iron my school uniform. How to polish my school shoes. How to fold my clothes so that were perfectly neat. And how to cook a curry, fried rice and omelette -- Chinese style. 

On our school holidays, Grandma and Grandad took my brother and I on the council bus to McDonald's where Grandad always ordered the Fillet-O-Fish -- no cheese, and no gherkin. And afterwards we would buy half a dozen cream buns, cream donuts and finger buns to take home. 

My childhood memories are mostly of my Grandparents because as a single parent, my mother worked long hours to support my brother and I. 

We were a very close family. My world was shattered when my Grandmother fell terminally ill. I was 21 by then.

I moved into their home so I could be there to support Grandad as he cared for Grandma, and so I could spend as much time as possible with my Grandmother. Her and I had a very close bond and I loved her as I did my own mother. 

Grandad had been so strong throughout her entire illness. But on the morning of Grandma's funeral, he broke down and wept for his wife whom he had be married to for 56 years. 

Who I am today has been greatly influenced by these two beautiful people who raised me to know what it means to be loved. I am so very lucky.   

Today I went with my mum and family to the buddhist temple and burnt incense in memory of Grandad. And for Grandma. Miss them both very much.


5 comments:

  1. Oh Sue this is beautiful, I have tears. Thinking of you today xx

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    1. thank you Kellie. For some reason I missed Grandad more this year than the others. xx

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  2. Hugs to you, what a wonderful person to have had in your life.

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    1. Thank you Susy. Yes, I was very lucky to have had my Grandfather be such a significant part of my life -- he taught me so much and I have beautiful memories of him and Grandma.

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  3. Oh Sue I have just read your post months and months after your Grandads anniversary. Thank you for sharing your story. It is such a sad one yet also wonderful. Your Grandad. What a beautiful, beautiful man. I'm so sorry for both your losses. Thinking of you as I know that even though months (years) have passed since that day it will always be with you. xxx

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