It’s my Grandad’s birthday today. He passed away on the 6th October 2015, and the hole that he has left in all of our lives is a deep one, but none more so than my beautiful Nan, who will never feel quite the same without her Teddy Boy by her side.
My grandparents raised not only all of their own children, but also myself and my brother for a huge chunk of our lives. What they did for us, so selflessly, and at a time in their lives when the last thing they should have been thinking about was raising small children, is something that has penetrated every part of my life and how I have chosen to live it.
I can hand-on-my-heart say that I have never met two people more in love with each other than my grandparents, and I have never encountered any two people quite as unquestioningly selfless, loving, and supportive as those two. In a time when it was not as common as it is today, my Grandad gave up his career to stay at home with us while my Nan continued to work her talented little butt off to bring home the bacon.
I cannot even begin to imagine the emptiness which my Nan most certainly has felt every single day that she has been without my Grandad, but I do know that if how I feel is only a fraction of that then her pain is as deep as it can be. I don’t ever remember my grandparents arguing, although I am sure they disagreed about things (mainly us!) They were, to me, the perfect parents. United in their decisions, and always there no matter what, when, where or how we needed them.
My Grandad was everything a father-figure should be; he was kind and caring, but he was also sarcastic, funny, straight to the point, at times rude and often smutty (even if I didn’t cotton on to that until I was older!) He was playful and silly, loved a chocolate biccy, and he instilled in me a kind of unwavering confidence in myself that has served me greatly. He made me believe that if I felt absolutely sure that I was right that I should pursue that to every end.
Whenever I was unsure how to approach a situation, my Grandad would give me the best advice, and helped me to see that telling people what you really think might be painful to hear or say, but ultimately was the best approach. He complained A LOT but he was never unhappy. And he loved my Nan like no one else could.
If I could be half the parent that my Grandad was, I’d be happy that I was doing a great job. And if my son grows to be half the man my Grandad was, I know that I will have done a great job.
I don’t think I ever said thank you enough to my Grandad for everything that he and my Nan did for us, but I do know that seeing us happy was all that mattered. I don’t think I called him often enough, and I know after moving away to London that I certainly didn’t see him enough. But I do know that both he and my Nan are at the forefront of every single day of my life. I often wonder if I’m doing the right thing, in life and with my children, and I always think about how my grandparents would do things and work with that.
Both my Nan and my Grandad have been and will always be my inspiration, my role models, and my home.
So here’s to my Grandad, raising a Guinness just for you, you grumpy old git!