Great Grandpa

My grandfather died the night before last. My son will now never have a great-grandfather. I suppose this isn’t really a particularly rare occurrence.

I guess we all measure things from our own experience. When I was born, one of my great-grandmothers was still alive. I have this expectation that the same will be true of my child, when it comes into existence. Given that my father’s mother died very shortly after her husband, presumably as a result of “pining away”, I wonder what the future holds for my mother’s mother.

But then, if we’re measuring from our own experience, we can extrapolate this information to deduce that my grandmother will be tough as old boots (there is evidence to suggest this already) and will live to an incredibly ripe 90 years or so. This, too, is backed up by the evidence – she’s in impeccable health, and though she used to smoke when she was younger, something about her is incredibly revitalising.

I look up to her in many ways, the most significant being the fact that she’s still working, even though she should have retired years and years ago. I find the prospect of retirement to be infathomable.

Indeed, looking at the current state of the whole pension crisis, I expect that by the time my hair goes grey, retirement age will be 107, and so I wouldn’t be able to exercise that option even if I wanted to.

And what of my recently deceased great grandfather? Well, he was a very kind man, though he sometimes didn’t know his own strength, and would pummel us runts about a little stronger than today’s parents would find appropriate. Still, perhaps it did us some good. And he smiled a lot. He smiled a fucking lot. That smile is etched on my memory.

I really should smile more. When I croak, I’d like people to be able to say the same thing about me.

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