It’s your funeral today. You never think the day will come when you have to say goodbye and then suddenly.. it does. It’s here. 12.15pm. I’ll be honest, I’m dreading it. It’ll be one big goodbye, nothing too personal. But I remember the last time I saw you. I said my own goodbye then. I don’t know if you heard me but I had to because I knew it would be the last time I saw you alive.
I held your hand and whispered in your ear. Told you that I loved you. That I’d miss you and that you’d be safe wherever you were going. I told you that Toby and Teddy would miss you giving them yet more biscuits, even when I’d said not to (you were like that!). I told you that I’d always call talcum powder ‘salt and pepper’, the way you did with me. And then I said goodbye, stroked your hand one last time and left with tears running down my face.
I went to Nan’s on Tuesday night just before I played netball. I thought I’d be ok to pop in and see how she was doing. I had a habit of that; dropping in unannounced. You’d always say ‘yoo-hoo Jadey’, ask me if I was alright and if I’d brought one of the boys round you’d make a big old fuss of them too, usually by offering them a biscuit or packet of crisps, obviously. Because that’s what Grandads do isn’t it? Rev up the kids and then send them packing with poor old mum and dad.
Anyway, I saw some photos of you on the kitchen side. I picked them up one by one studying your face; poorly I might add because that’s when more tears started to fall. I knew then that I’d really never see that face again.
You knew what it meant to be a Grandad. Were you my blood grandad? No. But it never mattered. You were with Nan for 30 years, I’ve only been alive 28 (just), and you were there for me from day one. You played a huge role in my formative years and took me under your wing as though I was your own grand-daughter, no questions asked. And there were no questions, ever. No doubts. You were, and still are, my very own Grandad Albert.
You were the man who couldn’t finish a joke. Laughing and losing it before you’d hit the punch line. Or, they were just plain terrible.
You were the man who, sometimes, I couldn’t understand a word of for your Scottish accent. God help anyone understand you when you were pissed.
You were the man who loved watching TV with your eyes closed. The same man who guarded the TV remote.
You were the stubborn man who wouldn’t wear their hearing aid.
You were the man who came into a conversation five minutes late and repeat everything we’d just said.
You were the man who always offered me a cuppa and Nan always told me to refuse it because you made a crap one. Personally, I thought they were alright!
You were the man who was the life and soul of the workshop.
You were the man everyone so loved.
You were my Grandad.
There’ll be so many memories. I’ll miss you forever more.
And as you and Nan always said to me;