My Stepgrandpa’s Gone

So…spookily, when I wrote that post last night, I didn’t know this, but I wrote it 3 hours from when my stepgrandpa passed away. I got the call this morning. I guess he went peacefully at 11 or so last night. My mom and dad could get there, so that was good.

He’s my stepgrandpa, but he might as well be my grandpa. He married my grandma before I was born, so he’s the only grandpa on that side I’ve ever known. In fact I remember the day when I was about 4, when I said to mom something like “I have a question. Your mom and dad have the name you used to have…but we’re Headricks. Why are Grandma and Grandpa on that side Simmons?” So mom had to explain to me that Dad’s dad died and then his mom remarried, and she married a Simmons. I just couldn’t figure that out at all haha.

He was generally quieter than my grandma, but when we got him talking, he always had stories to tell. He’s lived in a lot of places, from England to Kirkland Lake to Ottawa to Renfrew area when he married my grandma. He was in the army and was deployed in WWII, although I don’t quite remember exactly what he did. When he told those stories, he never made us feel like he was in danger, but he was in the war. Let’s face it, I’m sure he was in danger.

Once there was no farm for Grandma to deal with, they went on a lot of trips. I wonder if that was because of him.

It’s really weird to have another one of those constants gone. Now my dad has no parents left. I can’t imagine being at that place in my life.

I’m really glad now that I made it home that weekend. When he first got sick, it was looking like it was impossible for me to get home because the doctors didn’t give him more than a week or so. But something worked out perfectly, letting me get home and see him one last time. Now he’s gone.

It’s funny. Even though he lived until he was 94, we’re never ready for the end to come. But it’s probably a relief for him. I’m sure that last month or so wasn’t easy. But he went peacefully, so at least there’s a positive.

I guess I’ll stop now. Wow, now I’m down to only having one grandparent left. That’s very strange.

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  1. I only got to meet him a couple of times, but he did strike me as the sort of friendly guy who could talk forever about subjects he liked.

    My main memory of him is the first time I saw him. For some reason, he was convinced my name was Keith. I guess his hearing was already going all the way back then. He must’ve heard your mom or dad wrong when they told him they were picking us up from the bus, so when he dropped over to the house later the first thing he said to me is “oh hey, you must be Keith!”

    “It’s Steve.”

    “Oh, it’s not Keith? Sorry about that, Steve.”

    Then, after we all talked for a good 15 or 20 minutes, he looks over at me as he’s getting ready to leave and says “well, we’ll see ya soon, Keith! Good to meet you.”

    All I could do was just say goodbye and try not to laugh until he was back in the car.

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