I’m sorry to say that my grandfather, Grandpa Jim, passed away early on December 18th. While most of you did not know him, I wanted to take some time to share some of my favourite memories and photos of him. I’ve been spending the last few days sifting through all my happy memories of growing up with Grandpa in Calgary.
One of my favourite memories was back when I was around 10. Uncle John (Grandpa’s twin brother) was visiting, and the four of us (Grandma, Grandpa, Uncle John, and myself) were driving around south Calgary for some reason or another. Somehow the topic of doughnuts came up, and we all decided that doughnuts sounded like a really great idea (I have a feeling I was probably the most enthusiastic). Much to my delight, we stopped by Tim Hortons and bought at least a dozen doughnuts (possibly two), brought, them home, and proceeded to make ourselves rather sick (at least I did). Many laughs (and many doughnuts) were had. It was the first and only time I’ve ever tried to eat my age in doughnuts, and I had great company and encouragement while I tried.
I can also remember skiing with Grandpa at Sunshine, one year shortly after Easter. Mom went off with my brother, so it was just Grandpa and I. I’d sneakily pilfered a sizable amount of chocolate Easter eggs that morning, and stashed them away in the pockets of my ski jacket. Grandpa and I ate those waxy, foil-wrapped eggs on every chairlift ride, and he never tattled on me for my delicious thievery.
There was also the time I slept over at Leaside Drive the night before April Fools. While they slept I crept downstairs and swapped all their salt and sugar. The following morning I woke up well after Grandma and Grandpa, and found that the upstairs bathroom was “Out of Order”, signaled by a sign on the door. I had my suspicions, but decided to head to the downstairs bathroom anyways. Out of order again. By the time I reached the basement I figured I’d roll the dice and use the toilet anyways (lucky for me, nothing leaked or exploded, and there was no cling film across the bowl!). It turns out Grandpa had taken his revenge after having a massive bite of very salty cornflakes for breakfast. The best part of this story, however, is when Grandma and Grandpa came by for dinner a few months later and told me they’d finally figured out I’d swapped the salt and the sugar, and not just put salt in the sugar bowl. They’d been sprinkling sugar on their dinners for months!
He also told me to smile all the time—every time he saw me, he’d remind me to smile. And I do. Almost to a fault. I’m the youngest person I know with smile lines, and I love that. Thanks, Grandpa.