Papas Birthday

Sunday, 8 April 2018 17:57

Tomorrow would have been my Grandads birthday he died on Jennifer’s 2nd birthday. We called him Papas, my grandmother was Mamas. She always used to say they weren’t sure if they were a double pram or a pop group. I didn’t show it enough as an adult but they both meant the word to me and it hurts so much that they aren’t here and they never got to meet Phoenix. 

It makes me understand at least a little bit of how Shaun must feel because his mum never met any of our kids. 

Growing up my brother and I were almost always at ur grandparents. He actually moved in with them when he was 15. There wasn’t many weekends that one of us or both of us were there. In the mornings I would go into their bedroom in my PJs for our morning cup of tea and Papas would use his hair brush to brush my hair. He used to love brushing my hair.

Michael my oldest son is named after Papas he even has the ‘Burgess’ gaps in his teeth as Papas would tell me. I never got to be there with Papas when he died. I was with Mamas because I’d only just found out I was pregnant and didn’t tell her until the day before she went or she wouldn’t have let me help look after her the way I had and that meant so much to me. The last few months with Mamas were bitter sweet, we all knew she was ill and dying, we still didnt expect it so quick and we definitely weren’t ready for it. If you can ever really be ready I don’t know. My mum, her twin, my brother Papas and I were there until the end. I’m glad we were with her but then when Papas went 5 weeks later I was back in Scotland and everyone knew I was pregnant, I also has plueracy and was told I couldn’t travel down which absolutely broke my heart. The day before his funeral though I was able to see him in the chapel of rest not the same but at least I could see he was at peace and safe and I was even there to help mum and the funeral lady (also a Sarah) lock his coffin and safely tuck him away all comfy looking. We also put in Tilly and Bailey’s (our cavalier king charles spaniels) ashes in with him to keep him company. Probably silly to most but it’s what he wanted and we wanted it for him too. 

On the 16th I’m driving down to Worcester with Leticia and Phoenix to my Grandmamars funeral (my great grandma, Mamas’ mum). This time I won’t get to see her. I did want to but you can’t always get what you want. Mum said she gave her a kiss from me but its not the same. I used to go to a lot of carboots with Mamas and Papas growing up and we would always see my great aunty Laurian and Grandmamar too. We would always stop at the cafe or whatever to get a drink and some breakfast together before heading back home with our bargains.

In the school holidays we would also go to a carboot on a Wednesday with them and Mamas would always get some strawberries for me to eat later because they were my favourite. Grandmamar would always buy an extra punnet for us to share going round.

When I went to college I used to finish at lunchtime on a Tuesday and Aunty Laurian would come pick me up and I would go back to hers and we would have lunch with Grandmamar and do crosswords and wordsearches together until Mum came and picked me up when she finished work. Before college when I was off school ill this is where I often spent time and an obsession of the world ‘whigmaleerie’ started. I thought it was a fantastic word! 

Papas came to see me at the hospital when I had Pheobe, he was so proud holding her. He thanked me for making him a great grandfather, he said he never thought he would be and I’m so proud to be able to say I gave him that. Then of course two years later his first great grandson was also born and he again Thanked me for naming him after him. He said he never had a grandchild named after him. Mum was going to call me Michael had I been a boy but I wasn’t no one else thought about it but it felt right. My son to be named after someone I admired and who had been there all my life and still was. When Jennifer was born of course things were’nt so straight forward. By this time we had moved to Scotland but everytime we saw Mamas and Papas despite her difficulties they were always thrilled with every little acomplishment. I would always call with updates when we had hospital appointments and she has already achieved so much they said she wouldn’t. I do with they could see her now talking away as she does always with a huge smile. Leticia was only a baby when they went but seeing her laid between them both on their bed, the joy they had was a moment I will always cherish. It’s amazing the little things that mean so much….