Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Goodbye Ed.

It happened. I got the call last night. My Daddy's Daddy died around 20h30. I lost my last grandfather. I have only one grandparent left ... Let me tell you, while I realise I am very nearly a whopping 34 so this should not nearly affect me so, having started life with *six* grandparents (yes, 2 great-grandparents), it still comes as somewhat of a surprise.

I am relieved for him. He has been ready to go for some time now. I think mentally he's been kinda just waiting life out for more than a year now, if I had to guess. He out-lived his wife, my grandmother, by 12 and a half years.

Even expecting it, though, I am sad. Sad for my loss, for my Dad's loss. I can't imagine losing a parent. I am also sad because he was a difficult man to know, and I feel, as I suppose one always does when it is too late, that I should've tried harder.

I do know this isn't true tho. Because after my grandmother died I did try harder. He was not that sort of man. He was what I'd consider a very old school man. Not an emotional man, not one to relish telling stories of the past (in fact, more like one to avoid them altogether). The past had already happened and was no longer relevant to him, I think he couldn't quite imagine or understand why I'd be remotely interested in his life or experiences. Most of the stories of his youth, I got from elsewhere (his one sister is a wealth of story-telling!).

What do I remember about him? I remember his incessant need to mow the lawn outside our bedroom when we were staying at their house as Tweens. At Five AM. In the Morning! Haha. It drove us nuts. He was always and early-to-bed-early-to-rise sort.

I remember him missing every single New Years Eve I spent with them. In bed by 9pm. Why should the 31 December be any different?

I remember his uniform! Haha. He wore the same outfit every day of my life. I am quite sure he didn't own more than one pair of long pants. It was knee-high socks and shorts no matter the weather. See, he is wearing it in ALL the photos ... which range from approx 1983 - 2010!

I remember his old blue bakkie and bumbling down "to town" (the maybe 2kms to the shops in the little town they lived in).

I remember his hair NEVER greying. I dunno why or how (perhaps the brill cream he used that made it hard and never wisp a breath out of place?) but (sorry, Dad), it doesn't seem genetic.

He made his own beer (I wish I remembered more about that). There was always biltong in a little bowl next to the biltong-cutter. Shew we ate a lot of that when we were there. And his delish Ginger Biscuits!

He was a magistrate and they moved around a lot. I remember him still working (considering Gum retired a few months before I was born this seemed somehow peculiar to me) and coming home for lunch.

I remember the way he bawled at his son's funeral. My heart breaks. I am sure there is a lot I am forgetting. Hopefully there will be lots of story-telling and happy remembering later this week. Will hear later today what the plans are, but no doubt The Trucker will end up moving into our new house alone while I am in Cape Town.

Yeah, and that. Things are not going especially swimmingly between us right now. Things seem fine, right up until bedtime when we somehow end up fighting. Over nothing. I think we're probably both frayed by these renovations. And he's exhausted. He didn't get home till after 8pm again last night. Urgh. Life. You are not awesome right now.

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