My Mum called me this morning. All she said was, 'I'm in Wales...' and I just knew. I knew you had left us.
A coal miner, you had black lung, and had been having problems breathing. I'm so glad you weren't in hospital when you closed your eyes for the last time. I'm so glad you were at home. For me, it will always be the warmest, most welcoming home in Wales. I picture you in the armchair near the fire, having an och (kip) and Gramma on the sofa opposite watching The Voice (Come on the girl from Cwmparc!).
Ninety one years young and dancing two nights a week until a few years ago. Any music would get you and Gramma dancing around the living room. I can hear you laugh now. A whisky in your hand.
As I sit here, I'm overwhelmed with grief. Think of the good memories, people say. I only have good memories and they are making me cry; I wanted to go on making more.
I know I'm so lucky to have had you as my Grampa. Everyone who knew you is already missing you. You were always so kind and generous. My Mum once told me how she had called you from London when she was young and homesick, and you had just got in the car and driven all the way to bring her home. It was no trouble. You would always go out of your way to help people.
I loved the way you would sneak twenty pound notes in our hands and say, don't tell your grandmother! As if she didn't know. As if she hadn't just snuck a twenty pound note in our hands a minute earlier!
Grampa, you are Christmas; top of the table and never too serious to wear a paper crown. You are holidays in Spain; sitting in a fold up chair by the river. You are walks up the Bwlch leading us to the winberries for Gramma's pie.
Oh Grampa, if you could see the tissues surrounding my lap top right now, you'd probably tell me not to be so twp! You would want all the family to get together and celebrate you... and we will. It's just going to hurt for a while. But that's because you were so loved.
I love you Grampa and hope you are at peace,