When I am gone

To my grandkids

My love for the three of you is limitless, it knows no bounds. Sometimes; I spend wasted time searching for a favourite, that is always fruitless as it should be.

Who would it be, if it were even possible?

Horrie, a little man, approaching this 12th birthday and progress to Senior School?

Decent is an old-fashioned word, simple, but so very powerful.

It is your word.

It is tough for a child to see his little sister get extra attention, even when that extra attention is so very warranted, because of her Autism.

You have not only accepted, you have enveloped. Your patience with Esty gets tested but there is no mistaking your love, pride, generosity, protection and support.

The tall, gangly kid emerging from the surf he loves, the boy who loves his baseball, the geek who can inter himself in a book or lego, the caring grandson steering “Grumps” round the shopping centre, the cheeky soul, not shy about asking for any change I may have in my pocket.

You are all the above and you are more, I love every piece.

Esty, the feisty, determined, demanding, structure loving soul?

A cuddle from you is not freely given, it is earned. Nothing can describe the feeling when you race down the hallway and throw yourself into my arms.

To see you red faced and sweating on the netball court is to experience your difference. To wallow in your tears after a swim that didn’t go as planned, is to search for your heart, what a heart it is.

A stolen moment on the couch before the next urge grabs you, is a simple pleasure without boundaries.

Your difference is acknowledged, celebrated but; never excused.

You are the individual, you see no reason to change, the world must accommodate you.

You will have hard times but you will never be beaten, your ability to wallow and recharge is just one of your miracles.

What is not to love and adore.

Otis, the sweet, demanding elf of the family, a smile to melt hearts across the great divide?

Your cousins are surfing at Lorne in 40-degree heat, you are puddle jumping in a wet, 6-degree English day.

Your birth a triumph, your existence a miracle.

A miracle of boundless love.

“I am feeling poorly, Grumpy” the very English sweet words of a sick boy travel down the ether.

Later, as with your birthday last Saturday

“I am having such a great day, I never want it to end”

A heart bigger than yourself, a smile to light the world. The times you spend on this side of the world are cherished.

I am sorry I am not better at Skype, it gives me a headache, but I love the phone and the enthusiasm in your voice.

The photos of my grandchildren, a glimpse of a world in opposite seasons.

I miss you so much little man.

As my days darken, literally now; the slightest speck on my glasses, a cause for frustration and anger, I would not be human if I did not fear for all of you.

A world where science is ridiculed by the very people who should be listening, a world ruled by despots on both sides of the Atlantic and Pacific, a world where real terrorism has less to do with religion or faith, and; more to do with the lies and ignorance of the smug and self-satisfied.

This is the world you will inherit, frankly; it is a world I am not so sorry to be leaving.

Mind you I am no hurry; I have your birthdays, I have your phone calls and I have your cuddles to look forward to.

I hope one day when you read this journal, you will understand how perfectly, this far from perfect man loved you all.

There are worse legacies, there are no better recipients.




PS It would not be me writing this, unless; I succumbed to the urge to give advice.

These are “The Grumpy Rules”based on a lifetime of mistakes and a few  right moves.

  1. Never take advice from Grumpy, unless; it is based on independent research.
  2. Believe in the enthusiast who does know what they are talking about.
  3. Never believe the pessimist who does not know what they are talking about
  4. Always take notice of your mothers, they love saying “I told you so” LOL
  5. Believe in yourselves, find your own paths with honesty and courage.
  6. Look to others for inspiration but do not judge yourself by others
  7. Be proud of your success, be honest when you fail
  8. Enjoy your life
  9. Trust and trust again, even if sometimes your trust is betrayed
  10. Never stop learning



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