Publicity for Cancer Research UK in the last few days, means that I've decided to republish this post from March 2011.
I've been struggling with this post for a few days; trying to remain anonymous (reasonably) on this blog makes it incredibly difficult to partake in a linky which relies on sharing photographic memories of your life. I can't blank out my face can I? Going to have to bite the bullet (in a sneaky way) sooner or later.
So with this inner conflict, I plodded into school to teach literacy for Year Six and perused the lesson plan left for me. Even the absent teacher seemed to be prompting me to write this post, as the children were being asked to write about flashbacks! The stimulus for the lesson was the following video, it's only two minutes long and I'd really love it if you took the time to watch it.
In the video, you'll have noticed the interaction between the grandfather and his grandchild. That image really touched me, and it got me thinking about my own.
Both of my grandfathers are dead, indeed I've lost the company and love of all of my grandparents. However, when I trawl back through my memories, it's those grand men that I miss most out of the two couples.
This is my Bampi, my mother's father. He was the most gentle man that I have ever heard talked about. My mother adored him; he was kind, loving and lived for his family. He died when I was two years old (after struggling for a long time with pancreatic cancer) and so doesn't feature greatly in my memories. The only flashback that I have of him is an incredibly strong one; there was a dollhouse in one of the bedrooms in their house and I was playing with it, when I was called by Bampi. I remember looking up, dropping the doll and clambering up on the bed for a cuddle. It is my earliest memory.
The recipient of this tender kiss is my paternal grandad. A very different type of man, and I had a lot more time with him than with Bampi, but I am still very fond of him. I can still recollect his smell, his voice and his tales. Grandad had his own study full of model aircraft, Lilliput houses, photograph albums and an electric organ. I loved to enter into the secret world and be surrounded by all his own memories. A variant of the same disease was his eventual downfall.
Both of these photographs were taken in 1979.
Flash-forward thirty years to the following image:
My father and his grandson.
They adore each other, and I just know that I am going to have bucketloads of trouble from the pair of them in the future; finding them in the garden digging for insects or making a tree-house, both having skinned their knees! I love seeing them playing together and The Boy learning from his beloved 'Grandma' (His title is Grandad, however The Boy loves a BabyTV programme called 'Where is Grandpa?' and he can't make the 'p' sound in it, so calls him 'Grandma'. It amuses us all, mostly my dad). I pray for many memories for The Boy, more than I have of Bampi. This is especially heartfelt as my dad has successfully battled both bowel and liver cancer in the past three and a half years.
My father has recently been given the all clear from both bowel and liver cancers. My son is lucky to have his grandfather with him, and me, my father.
Linking to Flashback Friday