My Grandad is the best. Always handy with a bag of sweets, the first to spot the ice-cream stall, a sucker for bright red icing at Christmas, especially if it came with a singing cake board! A competition with Grandma on every visit to see how much sugar each could get into us. But then, isn’t that what Grandparents are for?
Mummy frowns a lot at people who stuff us full of sugar, and you were no exception Grandad. I remember the day I first understood about Heaven; it was sad and Mummy cried – I was sad for her. I came to your leaving party, but you weren’t there. Me and the Bug picked flowers from your garden and carried them in the church; it felt special. That garden isn’t so colourful now, and it’s not just the flowers that are missing.
But you know what Grandad? You shouldn’t be sad. We know where you are, and we know you’re having a fine time there growing flowers and eating too much chocolate. And you needn’t be worried about us ‘cos you know Granny? Well she’s taken over the sweet mission now. And when she slips the packets into our pockets we always say how she is on secret orders from you to spoil us behind Mummy’s back.
We still have that cake board by the way; it comes out every Christmas, but it is missing the lurid Father Christmas cake. The board still wishes us a Merry Christmas, but it is not so jolly now. Mummy rolls her eyes at the memory of scarlet E-numbers, the attitude she gave you about it. And I pretend not to notice her welling up, because I know she is wishing the same as me: how much junk she would happily allow us to consume in return for the chance of receiving another such ill-advised gift.