grandpa & I, c. 2006
I usually try to stay away from things that are incredibly personal, or difficult to deal with on my blog. The reason being is that, for one, I like to maintain some sort of anonymity. Secondly, there is so much out there that happens on a daily basis that we’re all forced to deal with, why drag it here, to my happy place? I prefer to keep this spot positive and joyful, a place where people want to come and visit during their moments away from reality.
That said, it’s also important to realize that things are not always butterflies and rainbows. Stuff happens. Crappy stuff. And sometimes it makes it easier to appreciate the sweet when you know what sour tastes like. I’ve gotten to know and love so many of you over the last year, and would like to share what I’ve been going through lately with you.
Yesterday morning, after a long, grueling battle with cancer, my grandpa passed away. He left behind four children, their respective spouses, a wife, nine grandchildren and a great-grandchild, all of whom not only love each other, but legitimately crave time together. Seriously. Everyone gets along. That there is a testament to the type of man that he was.
He was the man who brought his wife tea in bed, every morning, and prepared a candle lit dinner for her every Friday during their 55 years of marriage. He was the man with the greatest belly, and the belly laugh to support it. A man with incredible stories, including the time he had the opportunity to serve the Queen breakfast during his stint in the navy. He had thirty men lined up in the kitchen,with every ingredient you could imagine on hand, ready for anything she desired, only to have her order a bowl of cereal. He laughed as he told the story, every time. The man who sat at the head of the table, eight grandchildren in tow (at the time, my baby sister wasn’t around yet), playing military lunch* with soup and grilled cheese. A man who suffered for a year now, in pain that I could only begin to comprehend, without even an iota of a complaint. He never missed a beat, or a party, until the very end. This is the man who, at the age of 72, funelled rum and coke’s at the pleas of his teenage grandchildren (we were 19, I swear of it!) It’s safe to say that he lived his life to the utmost fullest until the very end. My heart aches at this moment, but I feel relief knowing that he’s no longer in pain. His legacy will go on in the form of his incredibly loving, and supportive family. A family that I count my blessings to be a part of, every day. The best there is in this lifetime, I swear. R.I.P Gramps, you will be sorely missed but never, for one second, forgotten.
*military lunch: 8 kids, 8 bowls of soup, 8 grilled cheeses, with Grandpa at the head of the table commanding our moves: “one spoonful of soup with three and a half noodles on it”, “bite the corner of your grilled cheese” to be continued until our lunches were finished. To date these lunches are still my favourite childhood memory. I only recently realized that this was his ploy to get 8 kids to finish their meals. Brilliant, and incredibly fun.