Sunday, 17 March 2013

The One With The Poem For My Grandad

Sorry for the lack of blogs after my new year pledge to post more often.

It has, as we say in Suffolk, been a 'rum old time'!

For anyone who followers me on Facebook and Twitter who'll know that the boy has been in hospital with complications with tonsillitis causing an enlarged lymph gland and had to have an operation to drain the fluid from the nodes. He was in for 7 days, then home for a week, then back for a further 5 days. He is much better now and that saga is a blog for another time, but it was while he was at home, in between hospital stays, he celebrated his 3rd birthday.

And on the morning of the boys 3rd birthday my grandad died.

Grandad was my Mum's dad and my last surviving grandparent. He was 86 and had been in poor health for the last few years. But it was still very sudden, unexpected and bitter sweet on the boys birthday. He died peacefully in his sleep and that is all any of us can really ever ask for isn't it? I know it's the end he would've liked.

During his national service he was a chef in the Royal Marines and was posted down in Kent where he met my Nana. In tribute, at the funeral, we walked out to 'A Life On the Ocean Wave' as it's the official anthem of that regiment. Without the Royal Marines my Mum, Uncle, myself and the boy wouldn't be here. It was a rousing, jolly chorus. It made me smile.

I got to thinking about what I'd like to be played at my funeral, which I know is morbid but you can't help it can you. Something jolly. Something funny. Something a bit showbiz. Cabaret? Make 'Em Laugh? Bring Me Sunshine? The Theme from The Good Life? I want something that will have people tittering rather than crying.

I also got to thinking about how lucky I have been to have had 3 out of my 4 grandparents alive for a good proportion of my life so far, and how my boy had a Great Grandfather for the first 3 years of his. I also thought about how I love watching the boy with Nanny P & Grandad Atu. Their relationship is so precious and loving. The joy they all get out of spending time together, playing and laughing, is beyond measure.

So for Grandad's funeral I thought back to my childhood and the Saturday afternoons and Sunday teatimes we'd all spend together. Then I wrote the poem below and read it at the funeral. I didn't even get to mention the games of snooker on my Uncles snooker table he bought from my Mum's club book, or battenburg cake and Bullseye, or how much Grandad loved my wedding day, which he generously helped to pay for, and for ages afterwards said to me "That was a good day out girl. I haven't had a day out like that for years!"

So here are the things I remember about my Grandad. His garden, his veggies, darts, cards and homemade Suffolk rusks.

Rest in Peace Grandad. I'll raise a glass of malt to you every year the boy gets older.


I remember as a little girl, in the garden picking peas,

Both of us together crouched down upon our knees

I'd eat more than I picked and you always used to say,

" Save some for our dinner" but I knew it was ok.

You grew radishes and onions and runners on a vine.

In the greenhouse were tomatoes . Your new potatoes were divine.

How everyone called you Charlie, but Oscar was your name

And how you laughed when I got a cat, and his name was just the same.

On Saturday, in the scullery, standing on a chair,

You taught me darts and round the clock and why you must play fair.

You liked a drop of whisky, and I used to sneak a nip.

You'd say it was our secret, but now I've let it slip.

And you liked a litle flutter on the horses, just for fun.

You'd put 10p on, just for me, and sometimes I even won.

We'd get a cake from the Newstead van, but you prefered home made.

So for Sunday tea you'd make rusks with the table neatly laid.

And after tea, a game of cards, Nine Card Brag was your choice.

We'd play for pennies and laugh so loud you'd almost lose your voice.

You tried to make me eat Pheasant, but I used to wince and say,

"I don't like it Grandad, it's too strong, please take it away".

And when I had your great grandson, you were proud and all a glow,

But you teased and said "You know you should have done that ten years ago"

A Dad, a Grandad and a Great Grandad, your love was strong and true,

These are the things I remember from the time I spent with you.

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