Sunday, March 30, 2008

Grand-Dad we love you

Yes, we've been "on holiday".

That meant going to Devon to visit mum-in-law.

It's funny how when we tell some friends this fact they sort of "pooh pooh" the whole idea and say, "O! We thought you'd been away!"

Yeah, we'd been away. Away from home. Enough to have to ask a neighbour to make sure our bins were pulled out to the perimeter of our drive and that they were returned to their usual positions while we were "away".

Son enjoyed it. He enjoyed being able to sleep in his 'lion' sleeping bag put on top of a duvet that has been folded over to sandwich four pillows, on the floor, at the bottom of our bed.

For all his shortcomings, son takes the greatest pleasure in the simplest of treats: like being able to eat a meal in front of the TV, etc.

Staying in the same room as Mum and Dad while on holiday is another of such treats. To be able to use his 'lion' sleeping bag, sleeping on his 'lion' pillow, my! Christmas had come early.

Well, that, and be given a couple of new sets of Lego for attaining his Orchestra badge at school.

He'd also been asking about, late, Grand-Dad.

One day we did something unusual: we actually went to a tourist attraction near mum-in-law. (We often visit at times when these attractions are closed.) We passed the cemetery that Grand-Dad is buried.

I suggested that we stopped by on the way home, to avoid having to drive out all this way again, to see if we could find Grand-Dad's grave stone.

And we did.

But of course the cemetery had become much more 'populated' since he was buried. We had not been for nearly eight years -- since the time he was interred, in fact.

So out of the car ... husband said "it's probably in this direction" ... "I know there is an engraving of a rose somewhere" ... and we searched.

We told son to look for "P---- T--------" and split up.

Then a voice rang out, "Dad! What's Grand-Dad's full name?"

Dad shouted back. I turned to look.

A little face lit up with excitement and a long limb stretched out with a pointing finger, "I found him!"

I remember when Grand-Dad died my sister-in-law tried very hard to protect her son (our nephew) from the reality of death, speaking of it in euphemisms.

And there we were, our son, about the same age that that nephew was when Grand-Dad died so, so suddenly, engaging with the process of death through this visit.

So this is also for Grand-Dad, we miss you so very much. You were the best father-in-law I could wish for. And I wish you could be around to see this grandson of yours.

We didn't even have a chance to tell you we were expecting him when you died on that day of the solar eclipse. Now he is nearly eight, and guess what? I think he has inherited your great sense of humour.

He is not at all like your sporty self, but definitely has traits inherited directly from Grand-Dad.

We miss you!

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