I’m so grateful for the wonderful dad I had growing up, and the fantastic grandfather he is now. I could write volumes in appreciation of everything he’s done for me. But today I’m writing about his father—my grandfather.
Grandpa passed away when I was eighteen. As a kid, I wasn’t close to him, although I saw him at every birthday party and holiday celebration. Back then I didn’t care all that much; what could I have in common with an old guy, anyway?
A few years after he died I read his memoir, and came to realize that the old guy was young once, not so different from me. He wrote about his early life in the tiny town of Williamsburg, Ontario, from his childhood until he began courting my grandmother in 1933. It was the last part of this story that most captivated me. I never thought of Grandpa as a sensitive soul, but his recollections of meeting my grandmother reveal a timid boy who admired a young lady across the classroom but was too shy to speak to her.
As fate would have it, the two were paired on a church debating team. He describes the evening she came to his house to compare notes: “I was extremely nervous and jittery, never before having played host to a young lady even for such a prosaic purpose. Added to that, the only quiet place to be had for our conference was my bedroom (door open of course) but the mere presence of the bed made me, and possibly her, very bashful.”
Destiny intervened once again when she took a job at a bed and breakfast on his street. “From then on, I looked for any opportunity, without becoming such a pest as to get her fired, to try to establish cordial relations with this girl … I was able to talk briefly and bashfully with her during her off-duty time in the evening twilight hours on the front veranda …” Finally he plucked up the nerve to ask her to accompany him to a movie. I was most touched by the very last paragraph of the memoir: “There was no time (nor indeed money) for a snack or a soda after the show … but the evening was nevertheless a huge success by any standard, especially the bus ride home and the walk back in the soft summer night! So much so that, as long as she lived, I never had, nor wanted, another girl.”
I think he intended to write more, but never got the chance before he died. It tugs at my heartstrings to think of him losing his cherished wife when she was only 43, a decade before I was born.
Reading Grandpa’s memoir allowed me to get to know him a little better; like me he had a romantic side, and perhaps a passion for expressing himself through writing. I hope someday I’ll find the time to write my own memoir for my future grandchildren.
In the meantime … my newest book, Where the Heart Lies, is now available on Amazon.
Seeing his former fiancée for the first time in over a decade, Clay McAdam can’t help but wonder why he ever let her go – especially now that he believes she secretly had his child. Years ago his desire for a life of travel and adventure tore them apart, but now Clay wants nothing more than to settle down and focus on family.
The last thing Jordan Lewis expected was for Clay to walk back into her life after eleven years, accusing her of keeping his child from him. But there’s more to the story than he knows, and as Jordan finds herself falling for Clay once again, she fears that telling him the whole truth will mean losing him a second time.
Check out my other books at www.susanrhughes.weebly.com