Almost a year ago my grandfather passed away, I’m still hit by the gut wrenching, heart ripping out of chest pain it left me with, it was a day we all knew was coming but it still never prepares you for that final moment.
For the last ten years of his life he fought cancer with as much soul, passion and dry humour that encapsulate him as a man. Now this isn’t a post about death more about how certain moments and characters affect who you are as a person. All my life my grandfather has been there. I come from a broken home which didn’t break until I was 11 but it’s still a seismic shift in your life and the person I bonded with most was my mother’s father.
He taught me how to ride a bike, help cater to my love of reading, sat and done my homework with me, built Lego on Boxing Day (which became a tradition in itself, one of my present from Santa was either Lego or an Airfix model).
I have been told on several occasions I was his “golden boy” and while I don’t agree with it (he was caring and supportive of everyone) if this was the case it was only because he had a Midas Touch with me. He helped foster and support a curious kid asking questions a stupid range of subjects but he always made the time to answer or look up the answer, and this was before Googling was a thing.
And in later life helped a man struggle with mental issues that to begin with he didn’t know about the subject, but by fuck did he read up on it, helping me pick counsellors, support me on medication choices and just be there to talk to. If I needed someone to talk to I knew he was there, until now. A year later a still yearn to talk to him about things and in a selfish way me, but also the latest thriller book he had recommended (I miss the refuse bags of books I would regularly recieve after he finished them) to economics and politics, many nights we simply had to stop talking because we needed sleep but could easily have continued for several more hours.
Although he is no longer here, I have some what come to terms with it but it still pangs from time to time. Any time I see an older man battling cancer in a movie or tv show it rips me apart anew. BUT and this is the biggest BUT I can use, I am my grandfather’s grandson, he helped mould me into the man I am now and I rely on that fact. I am stronger, smarter and more compassionate simply by knowing him. If I didn’t have him to begin with fuck knows where I would be. *I hesistantly type dead…* And I know this and that is what supports and drives me now, take everything he taught me and apply it to my life in the best possible way. Be kind to others, teach, learn, read, write, emote, laugh and fight.