Thursday, 19 May 2011


003 gr

Today’s post is a tribute to my Gramps. The 16th was the anniversary of his death and today is his birthday.
He was my hero. If I had an opportunity to do something with him I would. I followed him everywhere and I don’t remember him ever being annoyed.
When I was little he worked during the week and some Saturdays too, but when he was home we did everything together. Nothing was ever boring. Every moment contains some special memory.

On the weekends he’d take me to wash the “Volvie” (his Volvo) at the garage and we would eat ice-creams while we waited.

We would go to the green grocer and buy fruit and veggies for the week, I was allowed to choose any fruit or vegetable that I liked and it would be labelled as mine. I would usually choose mangos or lychees, or sultana grapes. I think that made their flavour even sweeter. After the veggies were bought we would go to “check a Checkers – just up your street” and he would buy me a box of smarties or Sugus.

We would sit on the veranda and wait for the lady to walk passed with the mealies, we would secretly hope that the man on the ice-cream bicycle would pass too so we could hide from Gran and eat Eskimo Pies and drink Coke floats before she even realised we were up to our tricks.

002 grLate afternoons we watered the garden and if Gran was watching tennis all afternoon we’d irritate her by spraying the lounge windows with the hose. We would then take Tiger out for a walk on the pavement and laugh at the silly little dog scratching and rolling on the grass.

Gramps would make recordings of him and I just talking nonsense. I only have one of these tapes now but I am sure that there were many. Every one of them contained another special memory.

He would always make you laugh. He did such silly tricks and I honestly can’t remember a time when these moments didn’t have me rolling on the floor and crying with laughter.

If he made some weird dish like tripe and onions I would be there sharing it with him.

001 grHe gave me everything I could have wished for and more.

I am certain that it is through him that I have my enjoyment of giving. He gave to those less fortunate; he gave to charities and even saw to it that little Tiger had everything his heart desired.

Then he got Alzheimer’s at a time of my life that I wish he was lucid and could have continued to be my rock. Every day another “piece” of him was missing. The jokes became less as illness and pain took over, I couldn’t say anything then – there were way too many others “feelings” floating around in the air – but my heart was breaking. Why – because he remembered everyone else but me – losing him to this was worse than losing him to death. He was around but he wasn’t. It’s like all the memories you made together never existed to him.
I would love to be able to block this part of my memories out – but just like the fruit at the green grocer it makes those times we spent together even sweeter, memories that are unique to us an no-one else.


  1. Oh Di, this is both incredibly beautiful and ever so sad! What a tragedy losing someone you love and who means the world to you to Alzheimer's. It is the most devastating way for a life to be extinguished. Your Gramps was an incredibly warm and loving man from all you've shared here! You were indeed exceedingly fortunate to have had him in your life for the time you did and nothing can erase these wonderful memories you've treasured your whole life.

  2. Thank you so much for bringing all those beautiful memories back to me. Dad was the best! He was always there for us. He spoiled his family with love and kindness he made jokes to brighten our days. I was DaddyKs girl and could twist him around my little finger. When anyone needed something or wanted to go somewhere I was sent in to ask! He never said no. For many years we drove to work together and that was always special our trip was never boring. He waas the best husband, father and grandfather. May he rest in peace.

  3. I have read this and understand how you feel. It is amazing how they mean so much to us in our lives. They give you all the unconditional love that can be given to anyone. It is so nice to go and sit on their laps and just be. I can remember my mothers father, but my memories of him was a strict man. He was kept at arms length and jsut knew that he was there. Then I take my Ouma and know that she was a special person to us. She was ours, and we were hers. My Nan was my special person too. We had a wonderful bond. I loved her dearly. She had her moments where she could create a big problem, but otherwise she was my Nan. So yes, they are our family, and we miss them so much when they pass on. We miss them each day. The pain never goes away. I feel the same for my dad. So many words not said, so many things said that you wish you could take back. But you know that they are not carried on to the next part of their lives. They watch over you and love you more each day.

    So I say to everyone that we miss and love so dearly. I miss you and love you.