My family isn’t straightforward. It’s a jumble of marriages, divorces, blood lines and step everythings. But when it comes down to it, family is family – Blood or not.
My Grandad passed away this morning.
He was in his late sixties. Not old enough to die and not old enough to have the years of sickness that he had endured. He had a stroke over ten years ago and spent years learning to use his left side again, learning to use a knife and fork again.
When he got to a point where he could manage comfortably again he got cancer. Cancer that destroyed so much of his insides and left him a shell of his former self. That was five years ago. Just before our wedding – A wedding he loved, where he spent the day running after his grandchildren and looking so happy. Back then we thought he didn’t have long left, but what did we know?
He spent the next five years battling cancer, having tests, treatment and medications. All the way through he fought so hard. He lived longer than any of us expected and he fought right until the end.
I never called him Grandad, I only really knew him through my adult life and called him by his name. But he knew that I saw him as my Grandad and that to me he was LP and LM’s Great Grandpa. He wasn’t around when I was growing up but he knew about my relationship with my Mother and the troubles I’d had growing up and he never stopped telling me how proud he was of how well I had turned out – Against the odds.
I won’t pretend to have known him that well – I think you have to grow up seeing your grandparents regularly to really know them. But today has left a gap in my life but especially a gap in the lives of my Grandad’s three children – One of which is only my age. I don’t know how you deal with losing a parent, I don’t know how you come to terms with that. All I know is I’ll be hugging my Dad that little bit tighter when I see him next.
Rest in peace Laurie. You were a really lovely man.