When I think of my Grandpa I think of bear hugs and whisker rubs. I think of long afternoons sitting in the carport watching him guide wood across the surface of his table saw, showing me how to do it safely, how to measure carefully so no wood went to waste. He built furniture with sturdy frames, generally covered in laminate with a wood pattern - he thought laminate with a wood pattern was a marvel. When I smell sawdust, or wood glue, or contact cement those memories rush back.
My Grandpa was a teacher, not so much with his words as with his actions. Despite growing up in an era where a woman's place was securely in the home, he sent my Grandma off to go shopping and socializing with her girlfriend's every weekend. He stayed home and invited all of the neighborhood children over for a big pancake breakfast. I am sure that there was no mess for her to clean up afterwards, that would have been an unacceptable way to treat a wife he loved deeply.
What I remember the most though is how openly he loved us. His cards were always the corny floral ones with one on my mantle reading in his carpenter's print, I want to thank you for the treasure you have become to me. It's from several years ago but I pick it up and read it often. He was such a treasure to me.
He passed away a few months ago, after several years of decline, first his body, then his mind. I mourn that the newest generation, my baby nieces and nephews, will never remember his bear hugs. In my mourning though I realize the honour of sharing his love falls to those who knew him. That I can make epic pancake breakfasts, hug my niece tightly and love her unconditionally.
Eat on toast with cream cheese or butter.
Shonagh explores the guts of food in An Offal Experiment.