Flashback Friday: Great Men

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.

1979 - me and bampi

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.

1979_05 - grandad and me

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:

new grandfather

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

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  1. Jenny Paulin says

    What a wonderful post! Brought a tear to my eye. All those photos are so lovely and the last one of your dad and your son is just beautiful x

  2. says

    Absolutely gorgeous. I adore the pictures of you with your grandfathers…you're just lovely! And the one with your Dad and The Boy! Precious…priceless!

    Thanks so much for sharing lovely! You're so sweet to do so!

    See you next week in whichever way you are comfortable! 😉


  3. says

    What a lovely post, I lost my Grandad when I was 21 so I was lucky to have bucket loads of memories but I still miss him and think of him everyday. I've been wanting to take part but don't have access to my old photographs at present. When I do, I can guarantee my Grandad will be one of my first posts!!

    • TheBoyAndMe says

      I wish that I had been able to have longer with Bampi, I would love to have one more day with him.

      I look forward to reading about your Grandad 🙂

  4. Jennie says

    This post is beautiful and made me very emotional thinking about my own Granddad Jock, who I adored and have missed every day since he passed when I was just 13. My Dad is now becoming Granddad to Esther and William and you have reminded me how important it is to foster that very special relationship. Thank you.
    ps – As a Year 6 teacher, lit and ICT Coordinator, The Piano is one of my favourite resources for stimulating creative writing x It is just wonderful.
    Have a lovely weekend x

    • TheBoyAndMe says

      Thank you!

      I hope it made you happy thinking about Grandad Jock, it brought back happy memories of mine.

  5. says

    What a beautiful post, and so beautiful complplimented by on of my favourite pieces of music (from the score of one of my favourite films). I still have all of my grandads, but my Dad's dad lives a couple of hundred miles away and I miss him so much.

    He's got so many different things wrong with him, prostate cancer and macular degeneration, making him almost blind, are but two of them and my dad and his brothers have offered to have grandad live with them, but he won't move as my Nan is buried in the graveyard just up the road from him. It's actually really lovely when you think about it, but it makes me so overwhelmingly sad at the same time.

    • TheBoyAndMe says

      Thank you 🙂

      That is very beautiful that he won't leave her, but so incredibly poignant too. Ring him up and have a chat this weekend, I wish there was a phone line to Heaven.

  6. says

    These are all amazing photos. And such a lovely post full stop.

    I only got to meet one of my grandads, and he died when I was young so I only have limited memories of him.
    At the moment we are having issues with my dad and my father in law (their own doing) so Charles is missing out on a Grandad/grandson relationship which I am gutted about but its their choices sadly 🙁

    Yay to your dad overcoming cancer. I wish him the best of health and hope it doesn't come back. (My mother in law had bowel cancer, survived as they got it early enough but it leaves a cloud above us all the time) xx

  7. Mcai7td3 says

    Awww so lovely, my last grandparent died last year. Felt very odd to not have that generation anymore. I love seeing my parents with my baby. They fight to hold him like little kids 🙂

  8. alysonsblog says

    I love your last image – thats so precious – we lost a grandparent the day after our baby was born – she never met her but hung on til she knew she was here and then passed away. So precious to have an image and a memory like that

  9. says

    Great news to hear your Dad has been given the all clear. It's such a horrible illness, I really hope a cure will be found soon.
    Lovely photos, especially of your Dad and the Boy. The Boy looks so much like you!

  10. says

    i remember this post from the first time you published it – cannot believe that was back in 2011 to be honest!
    i am so pleased that your dad has been given the all clear – that is just amazing news x

  11. says

    What a brilliant post. They sound like wonderful grandads. I've lost all my grandparents too. It has a lot of sadness to it but at least the memories are there. So happy your dad has received the all clear. I know from reading your posts it's something that you've all had to deal with for a long time xx

  12. says

    Such a beautiful, moving post, adored looking at the photos you have, family archives to treasure and for such a great cause too, thanks for sharing this x


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