The 27th March marks a year since my Grandad passed away. In this year, I’ve learned so much about him, myself and a few things about living your best life!
It’s crazy to think it took losing my Grandad to get a better understanding of my purpose and how I want to live my life, but I guess reflecting on his incredible 96 years gave me more motivation than anything ever before!
Prior to this, and just over a year ahead of this time, I interviewed my Grandad. I had just bought a camera and vowed to use it to document my life with vlogs, interviews etc. Sitting down and letting my Grandad share his story is one of the most rewarding things I have ever done and I thank God for this special moment.
I spoke at my Grandad’s funeral!
In the days leading up to giving the eulogy, I revisited my interview which, was a special moment that I got to share with the family. It kept my spirits high despite being hospitalised twice due to overdosing on medication for a toothache ( yeah… I know, I’m an idiot) and losing my voice due to stress and anxiety.
But I did everything in my power to write from the bottom of my heart, share my favourite memories and lessons learnt from my Grandad.
So once again I would like to share this tribute to my Grandad to Celebrate his Incredible life!
Tribute to Grandad.
My Grandad Claudius Emile Edmund Wickham
He signed his full name and date of birth in pretty much all of my Birthday and Christmas cards.
I don’t know why he did it but I absolutely loved it!
He will forever be a legend in my eyes.
Whenever I told my friends or people I knew… My Grandad is 96… they would say wow…
Black don’t crack lol
In fact one of the last conversations I had with my Grandad was me telling him those exact words and how impressed people are that he is as old as he is and he chuckled. He seemed impressed too.
He also added, “I’m not afraid!”
I instantly knew what he was talking about.
My Grandad lead such a full life, which is why I can’t help but smile when I think about him.
Long before this day, I’ve used my Grandad as an example of why you should never give up on your dreams, or what you want from life.
In his 40’s he travelled with his wife, my Nanny and decided to start a new life in London.
He had heard there was work and a good pay here and he wanted to see it for himself and take that leap of faith.
I am 27 years old and the amount of people my age, a little older or even younger who have said “it’s too late to do that, I’m too old to try and do that or if I don’t achieve this by time I’m 30, 40 or 50 I’m a failure!”
It really irritates me. The reason I say this is because If you’ve ever heard any of my Grandad’s stories you would know he had a full life in Guyana let alone up to the age of 96.
My Grandad taught me the value of hard work. He starting working as young as age 14 and developing his craft as a successful plumber at the age of 19.
My Grandad taught me the value of money. I’m sure some of the Grandchildren will remember getting that pay rise in spending money. It started off as 50p then £1. When the new £2 coin was invented that was exciting. Also when the £5 briefly turned into a coin that opened the doors for more opportunity.
We then finally got promoted to £10 and £20.
But then there was that defining moment when I graduated from uni and he realised I had a job and my own money and then it stopped. YES,I was disappointed. But I understood I’m an adult now and he would also slip the occasional £20 to help out and treat myself. I Always appreciated it.
One of my favourite things about My Grandad was his attention to detail when telling stories.
If you’ve had the pleasure of being one of my Grandad’s audience members you would know how funny and entertaining he has always been.
He could tell you exactly what he was doing, on this date 50 years ago. He would probably even tell you what the weather was like and what he was wearing just because he can.
If you moved something in his room, he would know. If you promised you would do something and you forgot, he would definitely remind you. The only thing he would occasionally forget was our names… but that was understandable there is so many of us and trust me we do it too.
Although we are crying today because we will miss him always, I can’t help but smile in awe of the life he lived.
My Grandad was and will always be my inspiration, my mentor and My G!