Today we farewelled my grandfather. He passed quite suddenly and unexpectedly last Friday night. Grandpa had just celebrated his ninetieth birthday. He had been looking quite frail recently, but to me he will always be the strong able man I knew all my life. He and my nanna were married for almost 67 years. They loved each other very much.
When I told my son the next morning he looked up at me and said “Oh, but I really liked him.” I think that sums up Grandpa very well. He was a likeable and well-liked man.
Since his passing was so sudden I didn’t get to say goodbye to him, but as I thought about it I realised my last words to him were “Goodbye Grandpa.” You see we were all together on Christmas day. As I left to go home I said goodbye to him. I find this a blessing – that we had that happy day as my last memory of him.
But thinking further, it’s not so important what the last moment was, or what our last words were. What matters more are the memories that we build over a lifetime.
I remember visiting him at his workplace one afternoon as a young child. He must have been babysitting for my parents. He asked me to count cable ties for him. I remember playing in the yard which had a very steep slope at their old house where my mum grew up. I remember many holidays at Bicheno. They had a block of land with a couple of caravans. I remember going out fishing with Grandpa and my dad.
My other grandfather (who passed away in 2011) once told me that he never knew his grandparents. I have been blessed to have had all of my grandparents well into my thirties.
The memories like the ones above are what I will treasure. My heart aches for Nanna who must now continue without him, but I am glad that she has a lot of support and many loved ones around her.
Goodbye Grandpa. I miss you.