25 April 2012

A poem by my grandfather

On Monday my paternal grandfather, aged 91, went to palliative care. He's not been well for a few months now, going in and out of hospital with various illnesses. My Mum called me to tell me these may be his last days. As I write this, he is comfortable, free from pain, and the nurses tell me he is alert and doing well despite being incoherent. Those terms, comfortable, free from pain and palliative care, are daunting. They are the terms to describe the end of days. It feels strange to literally take each day at a time.

If he was well enough, he'd be attending an ANZAC Day ceremony today. He and my grandmother served in the Second World War. Years ago we used to march in the same ANZAC Day parade in my home town. He'd be marching with the war veterans and I'd march with the Brownies or my school.

In all honesty, my grandfather and I aren't close. He gave me a book of his poems, and I have read some of them in the past day or so. He's a great writer. I wanted to share one of his poems here. Maybe I'll share more one day.

Life is wonderful

Yesterday's gone
into history now,
and if all my horoscopes
sand money was about
then Fortune was joking,
because if Yesterday
was living, then
Yesterday was terrible.
But Today is different,
Today is a promise
of what is going
to happen to me today
and hasn't happened yet.

All the while while I am
living today,
I will be thinking:
there is Life,
there is a promise,
and there is Hope,
and today
could be wonderful.

I know that he will get good care in the hospital. He's had a very long life, and I hope this time for him is peaceful. Through reading his poetry, I've discovered a man I've never known.


  1. Beautiful Carly. Sending hugs your grandpa's way.


    1. Thank you so much. He doesn't understand the Internet but I'll pass on the wishes people have left.

  2. Oh Carly, this is really beautiful. Thinking of you and your family and your grandfather too. Take care x

  3. Dear Carly

    This is very moving. I've been emotional all morning watching the Anzac stories on the news.

    There is a strange and poignant part of getting older when you start seeing your grandparents and parents as people in their own right. Poeple who had their own hopes and dreams.

    I am so lucky that I know all my grandparents and I am glad you have had some insight with your grandfather.

    1. Dear FF you are so right, we do see our elders differently as we age.
      The stories they have to share are quite remarkable. Thank you for your wishes.

  4. How lovely to have your grandfather's poetry, no doubt you will treasure his words for years to come. x

    1. Thank you so much. His other poems are beautiful. I'll share some more

  5. Isnt it amazing how we get to see another side of someone when we read what they have written over the years.It is like looking into their true self.Reading their thoughts that come from their soul.Hidden from others over time.Gives me goossebumps.
    Some can only express in writing and not in spoken words,how they truelly feel.At least they have an outlet for their emotions.
    Im so glad you are getting to know him through his words especially as you love writing so much.Though you may not have been close it will be a gift you share forever.xx

  6. This was such a powerful post, Carly. Thank you for sharing your grandfather's thoughtful words with all of us.

    I hope he is comfortable and at peace with his world at this moment.

    SSG xxx

  7. What a beautiful gift his poems are Carly. I recently starting reading my Pa's letters from World War 2. They've lived amazing lives these men and women.
    Thinking of you, your fami.y and grandfather.

  8. One of my grandfathers died before I was born, the other had a massive stroke, so in reality I never really knew either of them. That book is such a precious insight into your grandfather, I wish I had something like that, all I have is stories, and they do feel like such a shallow insight.

    I hope you are doing ok.


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