First birthday without you Gramps but your legacy will always live on

A year ago today we were visiting you to wish you a happy Birthday. You didn’t really know who we were or why we were there but you smiled as always and went along with what we said.

Today you are no longer with us and you have left a gaping hole in the world around you. It has not been the same and doubt it ever will be. You were a special man and your legacy lives on. The world is a better place because you were in it.

My biggest regret in life is that I didn’t spend more time with you, asking for your insights and trying to understand what made you YOU so that I could understand more about what makes me ME. During the last decade and a half I was nose down trying to build my business up in they way you had done. Time was going far too quickly and I blinked and missed those moments which I will never be able to get back.

You always told me that you were proud of my work ethic and totally understood how busy I was which made me feel less guilty but it isn’t guilt I am feeling now. It is sadness that I have thrown away the greatest gift that life has to give. The chance to learn from people who lived before you who know YOU from the inside as they were YOU somewhere down the line too.

I wish I had these realisations I am having now ten years ago so I could have enjoyed more time revelling in your stories and making notes. I wish I had told you how special you were. I remember being sat on your lap when I was small asking if you would marry me as I loved you so much. You and Nan just laughed but I remember those times as a child so vividly.

I think I have a large part of you living through me and it is the parts I am most grateful for. Thank you for passing them on to me through my incredible Dad who also carries your entrepreneurial spirit too.

I loved your thirst for experimenting with new things and trying to do things differently. The gadgets you used to fly in from all over the world, even in your 90’s, still amaze me. I can see this in me as I google random things to solve a problem which most people just assume is something they have to make do with. We know better don’t we Gramps?Life doesn’t have to be “Shut up and put up” it can be what you make it and there is ALWAYS a way around most irritations if you try hard enough to see it.

When you were told you could no longer drive in your 90’s I LOVE that you challenged the system and set about trying to find a bike which would go fast enough but would not be classed as a vehicle so could go around the system. I definitely have this spark in me and am always trying to look around the wall rather than let it stop me. Thank you for that gift – it is the one I love the most as I feel that nothing can stop me in pursuit to the life I want to live.

I wish I was alive when you were younger to see for myself the stories which live on.

From buying a disused plane and positioning it so it looked as if it had crashed into your field… just to make people smile as they drove past. What a wonderful gift to be able to make people smile just because you can.

Right through to driving down onto the beach and into the sea as people looked on in amazement as it floated. Again… most people didn’t have cars let alone one which could turn into a boat too.

You really were one of a kind and I wish I could have one more day with you and your mind before it started to fade so I could live in the stories just for a while longer. You taught me so much but know I could have learnt so much more.

Love you Gramps. This is your first Birthday without you in our lives down here on earth but have every confidence that you are creating memories wherever you are now.

Your loving Granddaughter

V xx