This week marks 6 years since I lost the most precious and amazing man in my life….my Grandad. We were incredibly close, and he was the only man in my life, in many respects he was a father figure as well as a Grandfather.
I have so many happy memories of him…
He always always shared everything he ate with me; I think it was one of his ways of showing his love and affection. Like a mother bird feeding a baby bird! And of course, his food always tasted better than mine even if it was the same! From giving me a quarter of his toasted tea cake to tearing a packet fully open so we could share his Walkers prawn cocktail crisps!
As a little girl he took me everywhere with him on the back of his bicycle and I often joined him in the village when he went for his morning coffee.
He introduced me to a British comedy classic – Fawlty Towers and did a very good impression of Basil Fawlty! We must have watched every episode of Dad’s Army and we often used one of its famous sayings…’Don’t panic Mr Mainwaring!’
Every time I saw him, we had to do the crossword together out the newspaper or the word wheel and of course play at least one game of scrabble with a cup of tea and a rich tea biscuit or two!
My Grandad had a great sense of humour and in his later years used to great me by honking a bicycle horn he kept on his table.
His house was always immaculate (as was he) and he could spot a crumb, dirt, or speck of dust a mile off! I take my hat off to him for his dedication to keeping his house so spotless especially cleaning the washing machine after every use (I don’t think I’ve ever cleaned the washing machine!).
He was a keen gardener and took pride in his garden which included keeping his hedges trimmed and if one little shoot appeared out of place it would get snipped! He even trimmed a bush into the shape of a rabbit which remained by his front door all those years.
I love the fact that he would never leave the house without his favourite aftershave on, his hair sprayed and without smart trousers, a shirt, tie, and traditional jacket.
He cycled everywhere until he could no longer, and you knew when he had arrived at the house from the sound of his bell!
My fasciation of World War II and the Titanic come from my Grandad as does my love of Malta as he often went there, and I was lucky enough to go with him. This is one of the reasons that me and my Mum want to go back.
My Grandad was incredibly loving, kind, generous and had a heart of gold. In all honesty I do not think he had a bad bone in his body and never recall him ever getting angry. His love was without a doubt completely unconditional.
I am so lucky to have had him in my life and only wish that he could have met my girls as I know he would have adored them as would they. He was an amazing Grandad and would have been an equally amazing Great-Grandad.
Over the past few years, I have reminisced and carried guilt about things I could have done differently or wishing I had spent more time with him or told him I loved him more, but I know that I cannot undo the past.
If I had had a boy, I always wanted to name them after him but as I had two girls, I decided to pay tribute to him and so my youngest daughters middle name is Josephine (as my Grandad was Joseph).
Every time I see a robin, I think it’s my Grandad who has come to say hello (I know no everyone will believe in this but each to their own) and so I will say hello!
I still miss him very much, but I have lots of happy memories to share with my girls and they will grow up knowing all about him and of course they will learn how to play Scrabble!