Archive for November 27th, 2008
This has been a very sad week for the family. Michael’s grandfather, who has been really sick these past months, fell and broke his hip on Monday. The shock was too much and two days ago he passed away. He was nearly 88 years old and a really cool old guy.
We got the phone call to let us know of his passing at 11:30 on Tuesday night. Michael was already sleeping, but because he was close to his granddad, I woke him up to tell him. Michael is never at his best when he is woken up out of a deep sleep. So I held his hand, and broke the news as gently as I could. He looked at me with pain-filled eyes and then went right back to sleep without saying a word. In the morning, he had no recollection of me having told him, and he had to hear the news again from his dad.
Michael loved his granddad a lot. He told me often that there were bigs parts of his personality directly attributable to Oupa Ben. Particularly his love of sport. Granddad was a huge sports fan and always knew the exact score and statistics of any major sports event on the globe. His later years were spent on his lazy boy recliner watching sport on satellite dish. He and Michael used to have great sporty chats.
I was extremely fond of Granddad, too. From the first time Michael took me to meet him, shortly before we got married. He was more than just my husband’s grandfather – I adopted him as my true grandfather immediately and I think he adopted me as his granddaughter. He was always so, so nice to me.
This was a feisty old gentleman. He could tell the most fascinating stories of his days working at the South African railways, his time during the war and his days as a champion bowls player. Really an interesting man. Of course, he was known to embellish his stories a tad so that you didn’t quite know what was true He could sure spin a good yarn.
When Michael and I got married, he caught my garter, which was apparently something that he made quite a habit of doing, as he had a collection of them going.
My side of the family had only ever seen him at our wedding, but he made such an impression on everyone that they always ask after him. A real character, I had heard more than one person say of him.
Michael and his granddad had a very special bond. See the easy affection captured in this photograph at our wedding.
It is so sad to see a good man like this go. He will be sorely missed and very fondly remembered, always.
Rest in peace, Granddad Ben, and godspeed.
Unfortunately, I will not be able to attend the funeral tomorrow (long story). At least Michael was able to go, which is the most important thing and I will definitely be there in spirit.