I know this may not mean anything to you, but my granddad having recently passed away, 72 hours ago to be exact I thought it would be nice to share with you all what a wonderful man he was.
Passing away at the grand old age of 94 (only 2 months short of his 95th birthday) a very decorated war hero from the 2nd World War.
He was 15 at the time war broke out, being born in 1924, but he would not wait for his call-up to fight for the freedom of his country, no this brave man enrolled immediately, lying about his age and was involved in action almost from day one of the conflicts.
At the age of 16, he was driving army tanks and fighting in the bloodiest of conflicts, like all war veterans he was confused as to why he was fighting but like all brave soldiers from this time he was fighting for our country to be free.
Just look around you today, how many of our 16-year olds would you trust to drive a tank during wartime, I would not trust most of them to push a lawn mower
The war years were hard, and like all veterans from this war, a lot of the stories remain untold.
It was during the war he met his wife, our gran, whom he fell in love with immediately, she was to be his only love and they married straight after the war in 1945.
He had 4 children, three girls, and a boy.
My granddad was a family man, working all his life to provide for his family, like most families after the war, times were hard but all they had they were grateful for.
My granddad made sure his children were bought up having total respect for everyone and all went onto top line careers either in nursing or building industry.
Granddad’s life was not easy, his youngest daughter went onto be very ill, suffering a lot during her early years, resulting in a brain tumor. She did manage to give birth to 5 children but being a single mother, my Granddad took the father role and helped bring up her children.
His youngest grandchild was very sick when she was born, she had special needs and again granddad stepped up to the mark to ensure she had the best start in life possible. He bought her up like his own daughter.
He also found the time to take me in when I was low, I was suffering from a breakdown. He was there in a flash and took me out of the situation I was in and I stayed with my grandparents for a few weeks until I was well enough to go home.
Unfortunately, heartache for my granddad was not far away, his only son dies at the age of 53 with Colon Cancer, a devastating blow which shook my granddad to the core, many times he said it should have been him and not his son.
But taking the strength he found during the war he managed to stay strong for his family.
Within a couple of years more devastation hit granddad, his youngest daughter died from the brain tumor at the age of 47, a tragedy, again he was shaken to the core, but being made of strong stuff he once again found the strength to carry on, giving a lot of time to his grandchildren to ensure they were all safe.
Ill health with my gran left granddad taking on more of the work at home.
The happily celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary.
Ten years ago, granddad started losing a lot of weight, being the suborn person he was, he refused to seek medical help, until he was forced to. At this time, it was found he had colon cancer and the diagnosis was not kind.
Being the brave man, he was, surgery was a success, and although he ended up having to have to wear a bag.
Granddad carried on where he left off still caring for all his family to ensure they all had what they needed, still nursing my gran and looking out for us all.
Granddad started getting frail in 2015 and even though he hated the thoughts he had to start accepting help from others, he and gran happily celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary in style with close members of family around them, but towards the end of 2015, he and my gran decided they needed to go into respite to give each other a break and have some 24 hours proper assistance.
A tragedy took place 3 days after arriving at respite, gran was taken ill, rushed into hospital. It was found that due to illness she had only 24 hours to live. Granddad visited her every day, for over 70 years they had been inseparable,
8 days later gran passed away.
This was total devastation for granddad, he was now alone, in a respite care home all alone, the love of his life no longer around and all he had was family visitors.
You can imagine, this latest devastation really affected him, many days he would refuse to get up and stayed in bed all day, not wanting visitors, he just wanted to be alone.
The biggest devastation was now to hit, his youngest granddaughter (mentioned earlier with learning difficulties) passed away suddenly. Only some 9 months after he had buried his wife.
This poor guy had lost his only son, his youngest daughter, his wife of 70 years and now his youngest granddaughter.
I cannot imagine what he was thinking, what was going through his mind, all his life he was strong for his family, did everything he could to help them and he has watched them being taken from him one by one.
Granddad, unsurprisingly, became less and less responsive, spending more and more time in bed with his quilt pulled over his head.
Granddad himself some 15 months later found himself rushed into hospital with hyperthermia, January this year, an illness we were told he would not get over.
Granddad left the hospital in February this year and had to be taken to a specialist care unit, where it was expected he would last about 1 week.
This new care home was a wonderful facility, they got granddad up and got him back in some respects to his old self, laughing and joking. And he lasted some 9 months until we sadly lost him, only the last 4 or 5 weeks he spent all his time in bed.
A brave man, a good man, a fighter, who no matter what devastation hit him dusted himself down and carried on the best he could, leaving behind a grandson here who loved his granddad with all his heart and hopes he can be just like his granddad.
Thank you for taking the time to read.