Quite a personal post this one but I got a lot out of writing it so here goes……..Its 2 years today since my Granda passed away, a lot has changed in 2 years, most significantly being 6 months ago when Effy was born. I think for this reason, the anniversary of his death will be particularly hard this year. I spoke at his funeral, which it an odd way, I actually enjoyed. It was nice to talk about him and was nice to make people laugh on his behalf, because he had done that his whole life.
Me and my brother grew up spending a lot of time with grandma and granda, looking back we spent a lot of time in his car, waiting for grandma to either get her hair done or go to marks and spencer. He would keep us entertained for hours by talking absolute rubbish, most of his stories had either a racist connotation or a reference to his glory days playing football. His sense of humour was absolutely brilliant, slightly inappropriate but brilliant.
My dad worked at Carlisle United for a number of years, me and granda sensed an opportunity for freebie and bagged ourselves some free season tickets. We’d go to every home game, moan about how rubbish they were and granda would tell me every week ‘these pansies couldn’t even carry the ball I played with’. For years we sat in the same seats, despite this Granda never quite grasped the concept that we were sitting in a part of the ground that all the players families and friends sat. He would openly abuse players (mainly Scott Dobie) in clear ear shot of their loved ones. I found this hugely amusing, I’m guessing they didn’t.
When I was about 15/16 I lost my other granda, I always felt like I missed the opportunity to get to know him as a grown up. It was around this time I started visiting every week, not because I was made to but because I genuinely enjoyed spending time with both of them. Over the years these visits have progressed. They started with me going after school and college, granda then started picking me up and dropping me off at the pub, by the time I started uni and then work I’d become terrified of his driving so I’d make my own way there. For nearly 15 years I kept up this routine, all my mates during this time have known, I’m not available on grandma and granda night. We wouldn’t do anything special, I’d go for my tea, eat my body weight in biscuits then watch every single soap whilst granda moaned how ‘crap’ they were or fell asleep.
I saw big changes in both of them over the years and I had to do more looking after, Firstly of grandma and then both of them. Even so I didn’t feel any different about spending time with them, it’s was an absolute pleasure. There would be times I’d laugh constantly, times where we would all fall asleep and times I’d wonder how these 2 had lasted 60yrs together.
As a family we all knew that he wasn’t well in the 6 months leading up to his death, but nothing could prepare us for how quick things happened after he was admitted to hospital. Despite him saying he hasn’t got long left for the past 10years, no one quite believed it would happen.
My grandma is still alive, but is in the advanced stages of Dementia and is in 24hr care, she really struggled with his death because she never quite understood what was going on and why he wasn’t there anymore, it was heart-breaking to see.
So people that’s why today, I’m in a shit mood and the 21st March will remain a shit day. I miss him and I’m gutted he never got to meet Effy.
When I spoke at the funeral I ended on this, it feels even more appropriate now I’ve got Effy;
“If I’m ever lucky enough to be a granda myself, I’ve had the perfect role model, my granda ticked all the boxes and above all he was a bloody good man”