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My Grandfather…

GrandadOne of my greatest heroes in life was my grandfather. He was quite a man! As a child I always remember him being old… We used to go and visit most weekends as kids and my favourite parts of these visits was that often he would sit me down and tell me tales of his times in Canada, like stories of entire cowsheds being tossed around in a whirlwind with cows popping out of the sides of the funnel, his times riding the rails of trains in true Kerouac fashion, of being a lumberjack, of the wide open spaces.

Not until I was older did I get to find out the whole story. He hadn´t chosen to go out there, his family had sent him to stay with family and work on a ranch they owned. Why? Because they didn´t approve of my grandmother. He went in his early twenties… Stayed for 10 years having all these adventures he would tell me about… And then returned to Liverpool. Yes, you guessed it – he bumped into my grandmother who now had two kids and was widowed. The rest as they say is history – though I don´t doubt they had their hardships and ups and downs in the years to come. Many many years later and two more kids (my dad being one thankfully!) he died, as old people do, and from the moment he went it seemed my grandmother was just waiting to join him, like there was no reason for her to be here without him. It just goes to show that some people are just meant to be together… He was a lucky man all round. He also survived two world wars… The first because he was too young to sign up and got turned away, the second because he was to old and got turned away.

He used to visit me in my dreams, though not for a long time, whenever I ´needed´ him. I’m not a superstitious person, or even remotely ‘spiritual’, but IF we have guardian angels I have no doubt he´s mine…

When my grandmother died, my dad gave me this photo of him. It was from her handbag. It had never left her side since he sent it to her whilst in ‘exile’ in Canada. Of course, it is one of my most cherished belongings and will be passed on to one of my sons when the time comes…