Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Goodbye Grandad

Today was my lovely ninety-four year old Grandads funeral. It's been a really special day, getting together with all the family and honoring his life. It's been lovely to see old photos and hear lots of stories about his life.

Look at this picture. My Grandad is the one in the middle row on the right with the ears and the wonky hair cut. My Granny is second in on the bottom left. They have known each other since they were this small!

My Grandad kept an old suitcase full of letters that my Granny wrote him since they started courting in 1936 when they were just sixteen years old. They are so sweet. She is totally in love with him. She worked really hard as a maid and she didn't get to see him much. In her letters she is always waiting until the next time they can be together.

My Dad read some of the letters out during the service. He read the first one that she ever wrote and the last one we could find when he had just gone off to war. 

“It’s hard not knowing when I will see you again but if we are to be spared how wonderful it will be when it’s all over and at last we can be married. Without you my life would be so empty so please take care of yourself. If it’s God’s will we shall come through all this and spend the rest of our lives together…always your loving sweetheart, Meg.

They didn't wait until the war was over and they married 1941. Their first boy, my Uncle Ted was born soon after. My Grandad traveled a long long way to see his newborn son, only to have to turn around again a few hours later back out to war. He didn't see him again until he was three years old. Imagine. 

Thankfully the war ended, Les came back safely and at last they could be together. They had three children. The cutie on the right is my Mum. 

My Granny died fifteen years ago. Every week my Grandad walked many miles up hill to the crematorium with red roses for his sweetheart. I think that's what kept him in such good shape. 

My Grandad died peacefully two weeks ago. Today, Ffion, Euan and I sung them a love song in the chapel. I had to do it with my eyes closed so the tears wouldn't roll out. It was beautiful to imagine them together again. No more waiting.


Beau said...

What an absolute prince of a man. Thank you so much for sharing all this. It was impossible not to get teary reading it. Even if you hadn't stated which boy he was in that photo, I would have guessed from the family resemblance! And what beautiful letters. Such a great reminder to not let the art of letter writing disappear into obscurity. It's irreplaceable in its tangibleness. Seeing someone's personal handwriting is second only to hearing their voice. So beautifully personal. So glad you had a wonderful service! May you relish the memories!

rossichka said...

Dear Hannah, I am so sorry about your loss! But what a tribute you have written for your Granddad - loving, full of respect and admiration! You are a wonderful family - I felt that behind your words, telling us about the deep love story of your grandparents and the way it has influenced your lives! Hugs!

Amy Hauschild said...

How beautiful, such an amazing love adventure your grandparents experienced, brought tears to my eyes!
The writing talent runs strong in your family
big hugs xxxx

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