Dear Grandad,

How odd it feels to be writing to you here, writing words that you will never read, but maybe you will receive them somehow, who knows what happens when we leave this earth.

I don’t yet know if these words will make a blog or not, in part it feels like my goodbye to you should be kept between just us, but in another way, I want to let the world know how proud I am of you and how much I appreciated having you in my life.

I feel like our friendship was a bit of a slow burner, when I was young you were just there, one of the people in my life who sent a birthday card, someone to send thank you letters to, and to see occasionally. But over the years I have come to appreciate you more and more. I have so many memories of you, however, there are a few that stand out;

  • doing long multiplication with you when younger, I just did one for old times sake, it took me a few attempts to get it right though, it’s been a while since I did any mental arithmetic! – 24 x 24 = 576 x 576 = 331,776 x 331, 776 = 110,075,314,176 !
  • That time we camped in your garden, I’m not quite sure why we did so, but I can remember being so so cold, though I doubt we told you that bit. Good job it didn’t put me off camping for life! The next day when we had thawed you took me and Pip to the local shop to buy us a chocolate bar, I got a mint aero and felt very pleased with myself, isn’t it funny the things you remember.
  • I can remember so many trips to your flat with the amazing view over the bridge, how we used to flash the car lights as we came over knowing you would be sat there watching out for us. Then sitting at your table looking out at the cars coming over the bridge, what a view, and it was also wonderful how much you loved that view.

Did you know that we started calling you Gdad? It came with your increasing coolness as you got older! It really did seem that you were living the Life of Riley, a perfect example of how to age gracefully. I can remember thinking that it was kind of like you were at uni except that your student halls had individual flats and were far nicer than my student halls! You used to take the ladies out for lunch, play badminton, play bowls and generally have a great time it seemed! I loved the way you went about your coach trips, booking them sometimes years in advance so you got the front seats! Speaking of ladies I do have to commend you for your impeccable taste! Nanny Smartie and the amazing Dottie both truly wonderful people who I feel privileged to have spent time with.

Thank you for being such a wonderful grandad, you always remembered my birthday and called regularly, taking an interest in whatever I was up to, no matter what I was doing, and I know it was hard to keep track of sometimes! Your pride in me always shone through, thank you.

I loved your birthday celebrations, both your 70th and your 90th where you gathered friends and family around you, I’m so happy I came back for your 90th and got to celebrate your amazing life with you and your friends and family of 4 generations. That is how I will remember you, laughing as Dottie got her scarf caught up with the waiter, your great speech, and you laughing and joking with friends, and thanking everyone on so many occasions for coming, whilst it was also us thanking you for inviting us, I wouldn’t have missed it for the world.

All my love Grandad,
Sam xxx

Joseph B Turbeville
THE TRAIN: At birth we boarded the train and met our parents, and we believe they will always travel by our side. As time goes by, other people will board the train; and they will be significant i.e. our siblings, friends, children, and even the love of your life. However, at some station our parents will step down from the train, leaving us on this journey alone. Others will step down over time and leave a permanent vacuum. Some, however, will go so unnoticed that we don’t realize they vacated their seats. This train ride will be full of joy, sorrow, fantasy, expectations, hellos, goodbyes, and farewells. Success consists of having a good relationship with all passengers requiring that we give the best of ourselves.

The mystery to everyone is: We do not know at which station we ourselves will step down. So, we must live in the best way, love, forgive, and offer the best of who we are. It is important to do this because when the time comes for us to step down and leave our seat empty we should leave behind beautiful memories for those who will continue to travel on the train of life.
I wish you a joyful journey.
Jean Turbeville Sanders
Joseph B Turbeville

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