GRANDPA, who used to be my dad until the tween was born, is one of those get-up-and-go type of people. You know, the type who drives you nuts early in the morning? When all you want to do is sleep in, grandpa is organising the “program’’ for the day, bemoaning how it’s half over by 9am.
At 81 he plays golf three times a week and at the moment is in China with his golfing mates, playing 13 days out of 17, conquering the Great Wall in between, then popping over to Hong Kong for a spot of shopping and more golf.
His energy is boundless, his enthusiasm endless and it was only after my mother died that I understood her passion for Sundays. Whereas other wives whinged about their husbands playing golf on the weekends, mum encouraged it. You see grandpa teed off at 7am, and mum knew very well that if he wasn’t doing that, she would have been frogmarched out the door at that ungodly hour, primed to tackle the “program’’ for the day, before “it was half over’‘.
When I was married and living in England, grandpa would visit, and while I was accustomed to his zing for life, my (now) ex is more of a slow-motion kind of guy.
While grandpa was contemplating cheese with his coffee on the menu, my ex would still be poring over the entrees. Stuffed mushrooms? Or sauteed?
In the mornings grandpa would have the washing and ironing done by 6am, and while the ex was debating which cereal to have a couple of hours later, grandpa was taking dinner orders.
The tween has learned from experience that grandpa is the man to turn to for solutions. When I offer to repair something, she’ll look at me with pity, pat me on the shoulder and quietly remind me that really, “it’s a job for grandpa mummy, you know he’s good at this sort of stuff’‘.
And she’s right. Whether it be a hole in her tights, a broken blind in her room, or the nose off a treasured, stuffed toy, grandpa is Mr Fix-it.
So it should have come as no surprise when grandpa whirled into the house the other day brandishing a handful of papers and looking very chuffed with himself.
He announced we had to talk, but not before he fixed the lock on “that damn door’‘, something I wasn’t too bothered about, but obviously something which in his world was unacceptable. After a trip to Brookvale and a new lock on the door, grandpa returned to his papers.
“It’s a funeral plan,’’ he trumpeted.
Okaaaay … er, um …yay?
“Look, it’s a one-stop shop. You won’t have to do a thing when I cark it. You can do everything at this one place, and it’ll be easier for the boys, as it’s closer to the golf club for the wake. And you know you’ll have to have that on a Tuesday or Thursday, otherwise it will clash with competition days.’‘
Grandpa proceeded to go down the list of inclusions on his funeral plan, from caskets to obituaries and catafalques to flowers … at which point he paused.
“We won’t bother with flowers, I don’t want flowers all over the place.
“And I don’t want you spending thousands on some fancy coffin. I looked into getting a cardboard one, but they’re more expensive than the other ones.
“It’s great,’’ he enthused. “I can fix all this up now and you won’t have to worry about a thing.’’
Mr Fix-it was in his element.
His funeral was all organised, except for one thing.
Fortunately, Mr Fix-it hadn’t set a date
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