My Grandma has been unwell recently. She is almost 96, had a pretty healthy life and in all honestly done very well. She lost my Grandad 2 years ago and they had almost been married 70 years. This is hard to compute sometimes.
Surprisingly my Grandma being unwell, has made me think more about my Grandad. I think if anything happens to her, it will be the loss of everyone on that side of my family, which is a sad and rather odd feeling. I guess a lot of my most happy childhood memories come from spending time with my Grandma and Grandad; more so my Grandad.
Most Grandparents are completely in love with their grandchildren, that goes without saying but none of my relatives ever showed it as much as my Grandad. The hugs were legendary. I thought I would get squished to death and the pure joy in his voice and face when he used to see me was just lovely. I can still hear his voice now. This lasted right up until he became more unwell and a bit confused, so my mid-twenties.
I used to get told off as a child for bugging my Grandad so much, wanting to play or just be around him. He was quite happy to play along with any of my games and be bossed about. He was made to tap dance, have picnics and play shops on a regular basis. My love for cups of tea (with sugar much to my Mum’s horror – I have since weaned myself off), Marmite and Hovis bread all come from my Grandad who drank barrels of tea and breakfast daily was toast and Marmite or Bovril. Quite honestly, I just adored him.
It wasn’t just those quirks, it was his attitude to life and his passion for learning and trying so hard. He lied about his qualifications and managed to land himself a job. He was known for his hard work, despite always struggling a bit if he had to hit the books. This got him far. Him and my Grandma skimped and saved and worked hard for every penny and have been able to look after themselves when they needed care. They were extremely uncomfortable about receiving carer’s allowance when things got a bit tough. Benefits seemed to be unheard of really; an attitude which is inspiring. Grandad also fought in World War 2 (which is massive) and even though I don’t know all the details from this, it makes me very proud.
My Grandad was rarely down in the dumps for long, even after my Dad became unwell and life was thrown unpside-down. He was upbeat and positive. The strong work ethic was so present in him and he never wanted to admit he was struggling until right at the end. He was forced to go into care with my Grandma as she was unsafe to be at home. Luckily by that point he was pleasantly confused so a move was not too traumatic.
He truly is my inspiration. Life is rubbish sometimes and we have to work hard but it will get better and staying as upbeat and positive about it really helps. This attitude I hope is my attitude and I want to be like that for my Grandad.
He made my childhood magical and I hope my gremlin gets the same from her Grandparents.