Crazy old fool

Sitting in the parking lot, halfway to Hamilton, I’ve pulled in to my regular pit stop to catch a moment of peace.

The weekend ahead is going to be hard. It’s one I’ve dreaded for a long time but the time has finally come and I’m not even sure I’m ready.

My Grandfather passed away just as we were sent into lockdown during the current Covid 19 events here in New Zealand. Only now are we able to gather together as a family to farewell and celebrate his life.

My grandfather was one of my biggest supporters. My biggest fan, watching as much of my wrestling as he could. And my number one blog supporter, reading every single post and regularly providing me with material he felt I should write about and giving me his opinions.

A huge advocate for doing what’s right and a man with great conviction who never budged on his beliefs, no matter who disagreed, it’s only really now that I realise just how much I admire all that about him.

It’s also now that I realise I know so little about his life. Only that which I remember from my own memories and the interactions I held with him in recent years. When we first heard that he had lung cancer and would only have months to live, I think that was the first time I actually picked up the phone and called him. “What can I do?” I asked him.

“you’ve just done it. I’ve just gotten what I needed” he said at the end of the call.

This past week has been an absolute shit storm and I have been incredibly drained and exhausted. I don’t want to go into details here but today was the first day I felt true hope again. I think Granddad has a large part to play in that. In writing a speech for Granddad’s service, I remembered who he saw me as and the numerous talks he and I had about helping to save this world.

In life there will be setbacks. Many of them. As I’ve witnessed, in thinking about my Grandfather’s life, there were many times he faced setbacks. In his last few years, when I spoke with him and listened to what he wanted to share, I was always amazed at his ability to remain determined and confident that things will work out in the end. I guess this is why I always referred to him as my crazy Grandfather. But, you know what, in the end, the things he said would happen, happened. The old bugger was right.

The biggest lesson I’ve come to learn this week, though, is that nothing beats human connection. It’s that human connection that has really helped me come through this rough week. It’s being surrounded by positive, happy people and sharing laughs. It’s having a big ol’ cry with someone I feel safe confiding in. It’s the hugs and the support that come from the places you maybe didn’t expect. Even the kind gestures of another who thought to get you a little pick me up “just ‘cos”.

As what Granddad said that night when I called him, thank you to everyone who has been there for me. You’ve given me exactly what I needed. I love you all for that.

 

For Granddad:

I miss you. This weekend will be hard and I’ll share loads of hugs to the family for you. I’ve written you a lovely speech which I look forward to speaking in your honour. You’ve inspired me, and driven me nuts, but you’ve always been my biggest supporter and I cannot thank you enough. I just wish I thanked you more while you were here.

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