There are two reasons as to why the 1st of September 1939 stands out for me.
The first is that it’s the day that WW2 kicked into action, with Germany invading Poland.
The second is that it is my Grandads birthday. Technically he is a war baby, although at the time of his birth it probably wasn’t apparent to his parents that WW2 had began.
I love my Grandad. He is awesome (if a bit crotchety now as he gets on in life) and when I was little he told me fantastic stories.
He told me that he was in the war and it was hot and dry and he used to fry eggs on the tanks for the soldiers because they (the tanks) got so hot. Turns out he was in the army, but as a chef. He never saw a tank much less fried an egg on one! Needless to say, the war was imaginary, something told to a little girl to keep her imagination alive. And demand more!
He also told me stories of his friends Merlin and Arthur. Stories of Merlin and his amazing magic and Arthur and his sword Excalibur. I told EVERYONE that my grandad knew Merlin and Arthur. To me it was amazing.
Everytime I saw my grandad I’d ask him to tell me the stories of his adventures.
To clarify (in Case it’s not clear, my grandad didn’t know Arthur or Merlin)
My grandad often played the My Little Pony and Sweet Valley Middle School board games with me. He ALWAYS let me win.
To me, my grandad was amazing. I still think he is.
Once I showed my friends a photo of my grandad when he was younger. He was holding my mother as a small baby, and my friends were adamant that he was Elvis. He looked like Elvis. He can even do a very good Elvis impression. He used to tell my friends and I, tales of him and his friend Elvis and that Elvis often used him as a body double.
His imagination was wild.
Over the last few years my grandad has been rather poorly. He has diabetes. He has prostate and secondary bone cancer (both under control). His balance isn’t great, he’s going deaf and losing his sight and he has severe arthritis and muscle problems. But he copes.
On Wednesday I called my Aunt and during the start of the conversation she asked me “have you heard about your grandad?”
As a general rule, most of the time, my family forget to tell me things. So I responded “no. What’s wrong with him?”
The reply? “he’s in the hospital.”
To be fair, that was the reply I was expecting. Most of the conversations that start with “have you heard about your grandad?” often end with “he’s in the hospital”
Last time he’d had a nasty fall.
So I said to my Aunt “what’s happened now?”
She told me. It was not pleasant (mind you, any reason for being in hospital isn’t pleasant!)
Basically my grandad has been in hospital since September 28th. Apparently having an infection that doesn’t clear up can lead to gangrene. He was due to have surgery today to have a toe amputated. It’s been postponed. So he gets to spend more time there. Lucky him.
My grandad is and always has been an outspoken man who takes no crap. He doesn’t care about whether his words will offend anyone. He calls it like it is. Much to the embarrassment of my grandmother (who is divorced from him). He has since remarried (a story for another day!)
This evening whilst sitting with him we were having a conversation about the facilities. The nurses are trying to convince him to use the urinal bottle. They gave him an in-depth explanation of how to use it (he’s old not stupid!) to which he replied “I know what I’ve got to do, however I can’t find my bloody dick. I’ve seen bigger whelks down at the seaside!” yep. I talk penis sizes with my grandad. Classy! I must say I did laugh though, classic look on the nurses face!
My grandad is awesome.
I hope I’m like him when I’m old (just not poorly!) so that I can talk out loud about vaginas and dicks and not bat an eyelid about who is listening.
Old people rock.