I was very lucky to have both sets of Grandparents when I was growing up, three of them I have lost, the only one left is my Nan, my Mum's Mum and she's 91!! Today is the anniversary of my beloved Grandad's death (on my Dads side), he was only 63 when he died suddenly 28 years ago to the day. I absolutely adored him, and he gave me an unconditional love, we were so close. I was heartbroken and still am all these years later.
He was born in Sydney, Australia on April the 13th 1920. He moved with his parents (who I remember) to the UK when he was only a child. He had unfortunately inherited a degenerative eye disease and his sight diminished throughout his life until he was totally blind just before his death. He never let this stand in his way though and he was always a real force to be reckoned with!! He was very feisty and very opinionated when it came to Politics and had the most wonderful dry sense of humour. He was the sort of man who never let his disability stand in the way of anything he wanted to do even at a time when opportunities were not always open to disabled people. He became a Blind Persons Resettlement Officer, helping blind and partially sighted people into work. He was a well educated man and had originally trained as an Engineer. I remember him being very strict on how to use the Queens English properly!! I dread to think of what he would say if he heard me swear!! I called him 'Pooh Grandad' , this I will explain!! My Nans name was Winifred and when I was a child I made the connection between her name and Winnie The Pooh, so my Grandparents became Pooh Nan and Grandad!! They always signed themselves as this in cards.
I remember that awful phone call 28 years ago to say that my beloved Grandad had collapsed...he unfortunately did not survive. He and my Nan had moved house two weeks before and he had gone for a drink with an old neighbour. He collapsed and died as they walked back home.
He really was the most wonderful influence on my life and had he lived I often wonder how my life would have turned out...perhaps some of the decisions I made would have been better ones. I am also sorry that he never got to meet my wonderful hubby and our son Louis who incidentally was born on the 16th of April, three days after my Grandads birthday so they share the same birth sign, he also has my Grandads name as his middle name. My brother named his son after my Grandad which I was delighted about.
I was very lucky to know my Grandad for 14 years but his loss left a terrible scar on my life, and one that I know will never heal, I have learned to live with the pain of losing him, but June the 6th is always a very sad day for me.
William Stanley Nicholson 13th April 1920 - 6th June 1983.