A Trip Down Memory Lane

I came across this photo of my grandad and I recently. It made me smile; I’d been so lucky to have such a great relationship with my grandad and saw him all the time when I was growing up. But the photo also made me a little sad and it brought back memories of when it was time to say goodbye:

Time to go

I looked at the frail form lying so still on the hospital bed. Tears threatened to fall. I blinked them back but they wouldn’t have it. I let them come. This was it – time to say my last goodbye to my dear, dear Grandad.

I held his hand, savouring the life still there. I like to think he knew I was by his bedside, even though his eyes were clasped shut as if they’d never open again and there was a hollowness to his cheeks where life was seeping out. I hope he knew that I wouldn’t let him go without saying goodbye.

I told him that I loved him and that I always would. At the age of 93 he’d told me to make sure I never grew up. ‘Life is too short,’ he always said, ‘you have to enjoy it, savour every moment of it, have fun and always remember to laugh.’

I’d rung him every day for years. One of us always said something to make the other laugh. How I’d miss that daily phone call.

Though I’d have plenty of warm memories – of Grandad letting me eat the skin from the top of the custard even though it was his favourite, of being allowed to spend hours in his tool shed banging and bashing about and watching him make up the fire on a cold winter’s day.

We became even closer when my adult years came. He was so proud of me when I took a job at a local bank and that proudness was reflected in his eyes on my wedding day.

As I looked down at that hospital bed, I promised Grandad that I’d never forget him and that I’d never grow up. I promised him that I’d enjoy life, savour every moment of it, have fun and always remember to laugh. I let go of his hand and my heart felt as if it would break. I pushed the chair back and stood up, my entire being fighting against the urge to stay, to not let him go. My legs found movement and I walked towards the door.

I turned back, my heart in my mouth and my breathing raw and ragged. ‘Goodbye, Grandad, goodbye,’ I whispered.

I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to carry out those promises. I didn’t feel as if life would ever be the same again.

But time heals. The world moves on. Eight years later and my promise has been firmly kept. My fifteen-year-old daughter rolls her eyes at me but I keep urging her to follow Grandad’s advice. Somewhere, I’m sure he’s doing the very same.

***

img_4385

 

 

Advertisements
This entry was posted in Uncategorized, writing and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

45 Responses to A Trip Down Memory Lane

  1. Lynn Love says:

    Lovely Esther

  2. Steve says:

    Words escape me…this was so loved filled!

  3. Gary Moss says:

    Thank you for sharing this, Esther; lovely.

  4. Sarah says:

    Very moving, Esther. You have some wonderful memories with your grandad. I’m sure that he heard you as the hearing is the last thing to go. (I used to teach first aid) My grandad died when I was eleven and because the war changed him he always seemed a bit distant from us, and serious. He did love us though. I have great memories of my nan though, she taught mehow to knit when I was little and I still do it now. 😊

  5. EDC Writing says:

    I’v just got in made a cup of tea logged in and read you post … where had I been, a spontaneous visit to see two of my grand children who live just a fifteen minute drive away … perhaps the reason why your words seemed so of the moment, I feel so moved, so touched by your memories , your love for someone who would have loved you beyond reason, because that’s what grandads do …

  6. Paul says:

    A lovely story and your grandad gave you some very wise advice! Thanks for sharing.

  7. Murray Clarke says:

    A very moving story, Esther. Wonderful sentiments expressed by your Grandad. As a proud grandad myself, with five adorable grandchildren, I recently suffered a potentially life-threatening illness, and I am indeed most grateful that I was spared and can spend quality time with them all.

  8. What a wonderful post to end my reading day on, Esther. Such emotion and love in your writing. And your Grandad is so right by what he told you.

  9. Jason Moody says:

    Beautiful. Reminded me so much of when I lost my Mum a few years ago. The dreaded ‘C’.
    I owe so much to my Mum, and was so glad I was there to hold her hand when she passed.

  10. dgkaye says:

    Such a lovely tribute Esther. I’ve been in those shoes, so I can well identify. 🙂

  11. Olga says:

    It’s hard to let go, but eventually feelings of joy in the wonderful memories shared together is what we hang onto and cherish, Wonderful post. ❤

  12. Claudette says:

    Lovely memories. It is hard to say goodbye, I know.
    P.S, my oldest daughter (she’s 21) is called Esther 🙂

  13. So heartfelt Esther, sounds like your granddad was a lovely chap. 🙂

  14. Soul Gifts says:

    Such special memories and advice for life 🙂

  15. Somehow I missed this last week. Grandparents can be such special people – probably because they’ve got more time and patience than parents. A lovely recollection. Sounds like it’s time to be childish again!

  16. Helen says:

    Somehow I missed this one. More lovely memories. Especially the bit about your grandfather letting you have the skin on the custard… How I loved that custard skin (though the absolute best was the skin on the caramel blancmange; they don’t make that anymore). Your grandfather sounds a delightful person. It is obvious too how his joy and enthusiasm has carried itself forward making you such a wonderful positive person. Such a good attitude.

    Grandparents weren’t really part of my life. My maternal grandmother spent her entire life in hospital and we rarely visited (once a year at Christmas and on her birthday perhaps), while I only saw my maternal grandfather three or four times in my whole life. I even missed his funeral because my parents didn’t tell me he had died! There was a great pretence about his “landlady”. I only discovered last year (from my brother) the family secret that my grandfather and his “landlady” were a couple. On those rare occasions we visited the poor lady stayed out the back, only coming in to serve tea. So I never got to know my step-grandmother either. Oh the shame of these things! We saw my other grandparents usually once in the Summer, at Christmas and major family events.

    Thank you so much for sharing about your lovely grandfather. Fabulous memories.

  17. Helen says:

    I meant to say my grandmother was in hospital my entire life not hers!

  18. Precious memories and a wonderful photo. 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s