August 11, 2011

Grand Orphan

The last of my grandparents died on Saturday. My Pa. He had a stroke about a month ago, and had been deteriorating since. I still can't believe it - how can he be gone? He's... He's Pa! He was meant to live forever! I've scheduled this to post while I'm at his funeral.

He was a hell of a man - always with a story to tell. He lived the first few years of his schooling life in a boy's home, and told us so many stories about that. He'd love to tell the story of how when he left, he got home and no-one knew who he was - and he had a sister he didn't know about!

He used to take me fishing. He'd tell all and sundry that I'd caught every kind of fish there is to catch in Australia - except a gummy shark. Completely not true, of course, but he loved to boast about his "Chickenbum" being a great fisher.

He also taught me how to read, or helped at least. I'd sit in his lap as he ate his WeetBix and read the Herald Sun to him, even the big words I didn't know! When he would take me places, he'd get me to read all the road signs as we came to them - I feel this helped me learn to read quickly, because usually we'd be traveling so quickly...

Even though he drove my Nan crazy, I think deep down they really loved each other. He fell apart after she died last year, and died clutching a photo of her.

I love you Pa, and I'm sorry I can't say more. The youngest of your eighteen great-grandchildren is calling for me. Thanks for being the best Pa you could be. One day we'll fish again*. Say hello to Ianto and Nan for me. Here's a song for you.

*...once I find my rod. He's the only one who knew where it was!

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