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Tuesday, October 19, 2010

No snappy title this week folks. Just a letter to my Grandfather Ted.

Dear Grandfather Ted,

Right now you are in your 8th hour of surgery. All of us are worried and anxiously waiting for news from the theatre. 

You're a tough old bugger and I thank God for that on this day. To date 245 skin cancers removed from your body, a heart attack, two broken hips, a bung knee, bowel cancer and now this Melanoma that had wrapped itself around your jaw bone. 

At 80 years of age most people would just decide that they've had a good run of it and not opt for the highly invasive and dangerous surgery you've decided to go for. Grandad, you, by no stretch of the imagination are “most people”.

Our family is complicated, I don't remember the last time everyone was speaking to everyone. Perfect harmony has always eluded us however I think most families can claim the same. Presently things are at their worst amongst all of your children but we will not dwell on that right now. Right now I need to remember the times you and I had together- which were always unique and hilarious.

You and I have always had our own bond being the designated “family trouble makers”, your trouble a little more serious than mine but who knows what I may be capable of in the future!

You once told Mum to “back off the girl”  at dinner when she was laying into me about my "bad attitude" and that the only bad thing you could see about me was that I was an "over-achieving little shit". I have never thanked you for that but need you to know to a then 14 year old mis-understood, sad little girl, your defence of my honour meant an imeasurable amount. You were the first person in our family to stand up for me, so thank you.

Thank you for:

  • Taking me yabbying.
  • Hunting for witchetty grubs.
  • Collecting Yowies and then sticking them on your ute.
  • Collecting elephants.
  • Frequently telling me how proud you are of me.
  • Boasting about me to the boys at “The Federal”
  • Teaching me to drive.
  • Getting drunk and telling totally inappropriate (according to Nanna) stories.
  • Having glitter in your gear stick.
  • Being a champion footballer.
  • Loving me BECAUSE of me not IN-SPITE of it.
  • Busting Aunty Rachael out of school the day I was born to come down and see me even though Nanna forbid it.

I'm getting a bit teary now, actually more than teary; there's snot and much hiccuping involved so I'll wrap it up.

I love you Grandad, we've never actually said that to each other as emotional sincerity is not a strong point of our families. I hope it's not too late to say it now.

Emy x

A moment of quiet reflection for both of us on a big day.

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