Goodbye Grandpa

Death. Something no one is ever really prepared for. Something I have been lucky enough not to experience much in my life. Something I don’t really know how to deal with. But in August 2018, I lost my grandpa. And I feel like I never took the chance to say goodbye. There was a lot going on in my life then. I was facing new life as well as death. On the 3rd of July, my little M was born. My grandpa went into hospital the very next day and that is where he stayed until he passed away. Trying to process all this as well as being a new mom, wasn’t easy. The reason this has been lingering in my mind is because I had a chance to say goodbye, but I never took it. My mom went to see him in hospital and asked if I wanted to meet her there where he lived. I was in two minds. Do I go, as this could be the last time I see him? Do I fly with my 4 week old baby alone on the plane? I knew I wouldn’t have been able to take her into the hospital, so I knew he still wouldn’t be able to see her, but I would have been able to see him. I opted to stay home. I was too scared to fly with her. I was just getting use to being a mom. And then, 2 weeks thereafter, he passed away. This always left me thinking, I should have gone. I do have regrets. What would I say to him now?

Proudly giving me my 21st gift

Gramps, thank you for all you did for us as your grandchildren. You only had 2 grandchildren, and we were your world. You took out an AA membership for me (not the alcoholic type), but you always wanted to be sure I was never stranded on the side of the road without being able to get help. On my 21st birthday, you presented me with an investment that you had been contributing towards since my birth, which enabled me to buy myself a car that I really wanted. You drove us crazy with your camera that had to come along to every family event, be it a birthday party or just a braai. We had to stand and take what felt like a 100 photos and we had to stand there until they were just perfect. We all sighed and moaned, but today I am glad for that because those photos are what I have left of you. You were a real clown when you had to pose for a photo though, doing all sorts of strange things. You parked all the way on the other side of the parking lot so no one could bump your car. I remember having to teach you how to put photos on your computer, while you were writing the instructions down step for step. You were so eager to learn. I remember throwing the tennis ball with you in the front garden.

Grandpa being a clown

You were the most organised person I know, keeping books and things in packets to keep them in good condition. I only found out after you had passed away, that you wrote every detail of your life in a diary – You wrote when I had got my first job, what I was going to be doing and how much I was earning. You cared deeply for the people close to you wanting to know all about them. I was privileged enough to have you at my wedding. You were so proud of me. You & granny gave us a great gift to start our marriage & I am so thankful for that. I do believe the timing happened in a certain way though. With death comes new life, which is what happened. I only wish you could have met your little great granddaughter. You would have loved her so much, but I will tell her all about you and your funny ways.

You called Marius your grandson & loved him like your own.

Grandpa, you will always be remembered for the great person you were, with all your funny quirks and mannerisms. I never had a chance to say goodbye and have held onto all this for so long. But finally I say goodbye. Not forever, just until we met again.

I love you gramps

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