You don’t see him often. We should visit more regularly really – he’s been lonely since Nan died – but it’s two hours each way on the train and there are nap schedules to think of and for two such tiny people, you come with a lot of luggage. It’s difficult to get you across London. But we should visit more regularly, or at least clear more Sundays for him to drive to your Grandy’s for us all to pile in.
It’s a special thing, to have great-grandparents. You are lucky to have three. They are all so good to you and love you so much and I will write about each of them individually but I wanted to tell you a little about Granddad John because these are his pictures, this was his visit.
He is gentle with tomato plants and with little children. He let me hang off of his ears for hours when we swam, pretending that I was a mermaid riding a sea horse. He took us sledging in the snow, over log ‘bridges’ to islands in the park, to the New Forest, the beach, fairgrounds and theme parks and Tenerife. He and my Nan were a sanctuary from the chaos of my parents’ divorce, they were my confidentes and my friends. Throughout my troubled teenage years they always had something kind to say about me.
Your Great Granddad is so proud of you. Every time he sees you he presses crumpled notes into my hand and insists that I treat you, he never tires of hearing how you have grown. He loves you. He has eighty long years against your not-even-one and I don’t know for how long you will know him, but I hope that you take away something of his kindness, his gentleness, his quiet dignity.
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