Saturday, 14 April 2012

My Grandad

No caravan news today, this post is in honor of my Grandad, David Victor Perry.

As you may remember I mentioned that my Grandad had cancer, and that there were no longer any treatment options. Last week my Grandad developed an infection and he passed away Easter Sunday. He was an amazing grandparent, and I want to share how special he was, and how much I loved him with you.

The hardest part so far has been the suddenness, we knew he was sick and that our time together was growing short. We didn't realise just how short though. On the morning of my daughters first birthday I couldn't sleep. I kept thinking about Grandad, I decided to get up early and write him a letter. I'd been thinking about it all week and knew mum would call in to see him on her way back from the party. I got the opportunity to tell my Grandad how special he is, how very much I love him and what an amazing influence he's had on my life. I'm so thankful that he knew this before he died. I encourage everyone to make sure they share this information with the people who have been especially loved and influential in their lives.

Abbie's 18th 2011 - (Back) Grandad, Isaac, Toby (Front) Layla & I, Abbie, Mum
Thursday I attended his funeral, and I took the opportunity to stand up and share with everyone who attended just how much we all loved my Grandad and how incredible he was. Figuring out what to say was one of the hardest things I've ever had to do. I have so many amazing memories of my Grandad, but didn't include them, because I had to be able to get through what I needed to say and because to share them all would take days.So I'm going to share with you all some of my favourite memories, photos and the little talk I gave at his service. Most of the photos are photos of photos, hence the bad quality. I'm making a pledge to take more photos, after finding I didn't have that many of Grandad and I. I share them to keep my Grandad close.
Grandad, Jeremiah (left) & I (right) - 1984

Grandad owned a dairy property in Irishtown and I have so many memories of staying there when I was younger. I loved feeding the sooky calves and going on the motorbike with Grandad. The farm had the most beautiful garden that my first Grandma, Lynn, planted. There was a raspberry cage (I think the cage was intended to keep us grandkids out.... it failed) where we would pick and eat kilos of berries, an orchard to run around in, roses everywhere ( I used to peel off thorns to stick on my nose, imagining I was a Rhino), a tree that looked like grug, in that you could crawl through the branches and become completely invisible, chickens and ducks everywhere, a pond that had a rock island with a stork guarding it..... There were so many amazing things to see and do, things that feed imagination and play. Easter egg hunts in the garden were the best, and an all in brawl as my cousins and I fought for the biggest bounty.

Grandad & I in the cow shed
My Grandad is a man of God, and lived a christian life, but I'll never forget hearing him get irrate with the cattle and swearing his head off in the cow lane. It was the only time I ever heard him swear, and it was only because he hadn't seen me sitting on the gate, waiting for him to bring the cows to the shed. 

Waiting for Grandad to bring the cows in
I remember walking through the paddocks with him and my second Grandma, Anne, checking for new calves. We came across one calf, I can't remember what was wrong with it, but it was sick. Grandad started searching for something and picked up a big chunk of wood and ended the calf's suffering. I was completely traumatised of course, I didn't understand why we couldn't nurse the calf to health, Grandma shouted at Grandad - this usually being the easiest way to get through to him. 

My Grandad loved an argument/debate. He would push all our buttons to rev us up so he could test our intellect. I don't think I ever changed his mind about one single topic. And in honesty I'm not sure he ever managed to change my mind either... I guess apples don't fall that far from trees. We're stubborn, each and everyone of us. Part of the problem is that we also both believed we were right beyond a shadow of a doubt, and neither of us would ever admit otherwise. We argued about race, immigration, god, education, babies (specifically my lack of), marriage, history...... anything that popped up usually. He laughed through them all, and somehow always managed to get the last say.

Grandad & I - Our Engagement Party 2004
Grandad had an opinion about everything. I remember he called me once and offered to buy me a wedding dress. Sounds nice right?.... Except that I wasn't engaged, but I was living with Jono. Grandad didn't like that. He wanted to know if I wanted to marry Jono, I told him that I did. Grandad thought he'd won, he'd buy me the dress, Jono and I would be married and he would  breathe easier. He couldn't understand why I said no, and why I would not be getting married without a proposal. He still loved me though, even though we didn't always see eye to eye. 

Grandad & I - 2005
He had old fashioned values, my Grandad. When I told him about applying to uni he asked me why I bothered seeings as I'd be married and pregnant soon anyway. Part of it was to get a rise out of me (mission accomplished) and partly because he believed in women as mothers, and that family life brings more richness and joy into a life then anything else.

Grandad & Isaac - Our engagement party 2004
One of my favourite stories my Grandad told me happened while he was still in school. There was a girl that he had a crush on so one day after school Grandad went over to her, flipped her skirt up and bolted. He got caned the next day. My Grandad was cheeky, and I have no trouble imagining what a little rascal he would have been.

Grandad - Christmas 2002

I could write a trillion words about my Grandad, but I'll leave you with the words I spoke at his service.

I'm so blessed to be able to stand here today and say i am the granddaughter of a remarkable man. My Grandad can not be summed up in a few short sentences. i know because I've tried.

I'm so grateful that Grandad met Layla. Grandad was at me to have kids before the ink on our marriage certificate was even dry. Grandad loved kids, and he told me that the love of a child completes a family and brings so much joy and laughter into a home. He was right, but what he failed to mention was that a Grandparent completes a family, and brings so much joy and laughter into the lives of their grandchildren.

We loved him and our hearts ache with the loss of our amazing Grandad. A Grandad who loved us unconditionally, who scolded us when necessary, who laughed with us, argued with us, held us, wanted nothing but the best for us, and was always, always there for us.

And so today our family is no longer complete, but we will always remember the joy and laughter that our Grandad bought into our lives, and that we were loved fully by a remarkable man. 

I love you Grandad, and I'll miss you.


  1. Your Grandad was so much like my Dad{his older brother Gilbert} Uncle David was a constant visitor in Victoria as he came often, he will live in our hearts forever, Elaine

  2. Thanks for your comment Elaine. He was a very special man, though I suspect that most of the Perry men were.

  3. What a great snippet of what he means to you Jade. I am totally envious (even of the debates) as I had only one living grandad and it was for a very short time. I have only 2 memories of him.