My Grandad (1927-1986)
Today would have been, should have been your 82nd birthday, but you left us far too early. I'm thinking of you today as I do most days. More time has passed since we've been apart than we ever spent together but the void you left is unfillable. Thank you for playing a leading part in making my childhood a happy one.
Because of you I could write my own name before I even started school. You bought me a calculator when I was 4 and explained to me the process of long division years before my teachers dared to.
Our favourite times were singing. Neither of us could hold a note..you were born with a cleft palate and were half deaf, I had an equally nasal tone..usually due to coughs and colds. However we loved to sing, often into a cassette recorder..I wish I still had those tapes.
You suffered a heart attack and had to take some time off work and at the age of 5 I became your chaperone. We'ed go walks...often to your favourite haunt the Bowling Green where I'd join in games of dominoes and go home with pockets full of coins from your defeated cronies.
You taught me how to play cards...you also taught me how to cheat at cards.
You worked hard..sometimes seven days a week. I loved visiting you in the butchers shop on a Saturday even if I was scared to walk past the pig's head displayed in the window. I'd kick around the sawdust on the shop floor while you served customers..sometimes sneaking me a piece of 'clootie dumpling' or giving my mum some 'potted meat' to help build me up.
There was a massive gap after you went away, but not just in my life. You were known by many and loved by most. You taught me that I was capable of achieving anything despite my size and stature..I only hope I haven't let you down.