My Grandad passed away in early October this year. Although it was quite sudden, his passing was peaceful and all the family had a chance to say their good-byes before he died. I just wanted to share some of my special memories of my Grandad. This is the speech I gave at his funeral.
I remember…holidays spent on the farm with you and Nanna. They were special times. Going down to visit you in the raspberries and calling you in for morning or afternoon tea. It was always the same thing for morning and afternoon tea – bikkies and cheese! I remember walking down to the creek with you and visiting the vegetable garden. Kisses and cuddles with you before Nanna would put me to bed.
I remember…afternoons spent at your place playing backgammon and checkers. It used to be a little ritual playing with you and my Dad. I don’t think I won very often but I had lots of fun trying!
I remember…your talent for making things with your hands. Such beautiful wooden things you made. I still have that dollhouse you made me for my Sylvanian family. You made it specially so that it looked the same as the one from the shop. I hope that one day my children can enjoy it too, just like I did. And those special toys that you made for your great grandchildren. Little wooden puppies that the kids could pull along, penguins with feet that you pushed along the floor and wooden hobby horses. The kids have spent many hours playing with these special toys.
I remember…spending hours with you in your shed. Your shed was always a little treasure trove to me when I was a child and I used to love to visit you in there. You used to show me the toys you were working on, such clever little inventions, and how they worked. You never tired of explaining things to me and having me there watching you even though I’m sure I must have been a little annoying at times! I remember how you had a collection of little plastic toys that you’d collected from cereal boxes. Every so often you’d pull one of those out and we’d construct it together: little plastic camels and carriages and the like.
I remember…visits to the museum with you and Nanna when I was younger. We used to go in the school holidays. Mum and I and Stephen would meet you on the train at Lilydale and we’d travel in together. I always liked to visit all the different exhibits with you because you would spend time explaining things in detail to me and didn’t try to simplify things just because I was a kid.
I remember…your stubbornness. It used to annoy me so much having an argument with you because I knew I could never win! You would always just give that laugh that meant that the argument was over.
I remember…your passion for learning. You liked to read lots of books about lots of different topics and watched lots of documentaries. I always used to think you knew everything!
I remember… your love for all of us. How we knew how proud you were of us without even saying anything. You took an interest in all of our achievements and what we were doing.
I remember…what a wonderful great-grandad you were. You always loved to watch the great grand children play when we visited and delighted in making toys for them while you were still able to. On one of our last visits to you in the hospital when you were sick you smiled when you heard Jacob and Esme’s voices and felt them touching you. Always a proud great-grandad to the end.