Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Storytelling Sunday - July

Welcome to storytelling Sunday (all be it just a little late!) for July.  If you would like to know more about it, or to join in on the first Sunday of each month with your own story, then head on over to Sian at From High In The Sky for more details.

In light of events this past week I dedicate this story to my Grandpa ...

Grandpa & I
My Grandpa was born in a mining town in North Yorkshire in July 1916, the middle child of three.  Both his parents died within months of each other when he was a youngster and he and his siblings became what are now known as 'Barnardos Children'.  The eldest was enlisted in the army, my Grandpa was sent to Australia to be raised on a work farm, and their sister was sent to Canada to be adopted by a family there.  They all lost contact with each other and it wasn't until the second world war that the two brothers found each other.  The eldest brother had already managed to track down their sister and reunions followed later as travel and finance allowed.  My Grandparents had five children and have seen their family grow to include sixteen grandchildren and (at the current count) 11 great-grandchildren.

My Grandpa was a private man who found it hard to express his emotions.  He had such an unusual upbringing and young adult life that I am sure that this influenced the man he became.  However, I knew him to be loving and kind.  The type of man who would do anything for anyone, but usually on the QT.  I am the eldest grandchild and there are boxes and boxes of photos of me, but I could only find TWO with my grandpa.  He obviously did not like to have his photo taken!!!

With my Grandparents (I am still the only Grandchild!!!)

He was always very precise ... PERFECTLY straight rows of veggies, PERFECTLY straight lines in the mown lawn, every tool in the shed had a PRECISE home!!!  Do you get the picture :-)  He even sorted the sticks into piles of similar size in the wood shed!  When putting in fences his kids had to ensure they were straight and that each fence post came to the same height as measured by a certain button on Grandpa's shirt.  Everything had a home but he would indulge his grandkids in all sorts of ways.

My Grandparents lived on a large block which many would now call a 'hobby farm' as it is now pretty much part of the city.  Back in its day they had a poultry farm on it until the government ran a highway straight through the 'chook sheds'.  Grandpa would spend hours sharpening the ends of sticks for us on the grinding stone so we had arrows for our handmade bows.  He turned a blind eye when we raided the veggies from the garden for a summer's day snack.  He let us shred the old newspapers for him when he was making bricks.  He would always lend us tools as long as they came straight back clean and ready to be hung in their place.  I only just realised that the tool shed was the ONLY locked building on the whole property!

My munchkins are on the left and the baby is Nephew2

I have lived away for stretches of time twice in my life and this last time I returned to a man much aged.  He still knew me when we returned, but this past year he hasn't been so well.  The last time a saw him a few weeks ago he could barely see and hear and no longer remembered who I was.  I am glad that we decided to return or I would have missed these past few years with him.  On Tuesday afternoon this past week my Grandpa passed away, just over a month shy of his next birthday.  Grandpa, I will love you forever and a day. xoxoxo

This is a more sombre story this month but my Grandpa lived a long and happy life.  I am sure the rest of the stories this month will be worth a read so head on over with a cup of your favourite beverage.

Chipper

11 comments:

  1. What a perfect tribute to Grandpa. I am glad you had the opportunity to spend some times with him before his passing. Thank you for sharing.

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  2. This is a beautiful story - lovingly told memories of your Grandpa! May the Lord bless you and your family as you remember this wonderful man & grieve his passing.

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  3. What a lovely written post - it is obvious how much you cared about him and vice versa. Thanks for sharing. Remember that he will always be as close as a memory.

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  4. It is lovely that you got time to spend with your Grandpa. You will always treasure it, together with the memories. It is difficult when families are separated and it must have been a wonderful reunion for them. I hope you and your family can take comfort from knowing how much he loved you all.

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  5. I'm sorry to hear about your Grandfather. I hope it was a peaceful passing. By goodness though, didn't he have an interesting young life. I'm glad you were able to share these memories, I have no knowledge of my grandparents. What treasured memories you must have.

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  6. I'm so sorry for your loss. I read your post with interest and must say what an interesting life he led. My dh and 3 sons are heading up to Scotland tomoro for my dh's aunties funeral. As I arranged a wreath to be sent, it brought back past losses and funerals, especially my PaPa's (Grandfathers) who had an interesting life too. Thanks for sharing this story. Hugs.
    Mandy

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  7. I'm so sorry for your loss, but so glad you managed to spend these last few years close to your Grandpa...what a lovely tribute
    Alison xx

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  8. I am so sorry for your loss but loved reading about your grandfather and what a very special place he holds in your heart and that you will always have to cherish. Prayers are with your family as you adjust to life without his presence.

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  9. This is such a sweet tribute. I feel as if I know your grandfather a bit now...and I can see he will leave a hole behind. As I recently and suddenly lost my mother-in-law, I know that grief is a strange bird. Sometimes it holds you in its grips tightly and angrily...sometimes it sits quietly on a shelf. Either way, it's there because we loved someone, and it gradually loses its sting with time. Big hugs and prayers to you.

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  10. What a moving story this is. I'm so sorry for your loss, and for the fact that my condolences are coming so late in the day. We have been away from the internet as we holidayed and I'm sorry for that. As we settle back into life at home again, your lovely tribute has reminded me to keep family close and appreciate time together. A story well worth the telling.

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  11. Thanks for sharing your tribute to your grandpa - I hope things have settled down a bit at home now and the good memories are helping with the sad times of your grief.

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Thanks for taking the time to brighten my day :-)
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