One of the most wonderful men in my life (along with my Dad and Brother!) passed away in December. My Grandad truly was the most warm-hearted, gentle person I know. He had time for everyone and cared for his family above everything else in the world. He was so proud of us and everything we achieved. I will never forget the time he had tears of pride when reading my dissertation last year. He loved to know what we, his grandchildren, were doing. He gave my brother his collection of gardening and plant books he had invested in over the years when my brother started studying horticulture as college. He gave my sister his antique thimbles because she is studying costume design and construction at university. Knowing we were doing well provided him with such joy. When we were young he would always let us sit of his knee. He’d pick us up from school and would always have some sweets for us (something Mum would never do!). His car always smelt of air freshener and cigarettes. His pride and passion for his gardening meant his garden was always immaculate. He loved taking trips to the garden centre. Even when he was struggling to walk in the last few years and wouldn’t leave the house very often, I would try and take him when I could when I was home from university (until my car stopped working). His love for puzzles, scrabble and crosswords led to many family jokes which he would always be the butt of. Whether it was Mum taking one of his puzzle pieces so that she could be the one who put in the last piece after all his hard work, or his need to finish his crossword on his own; ringing us up for answers so it would be completed by the time we came over. His creativity with words on the scrabble board led to a dictionary permanently being on the table during the game and many questionable words being put down. Not to mention his acting skills during games of charades- he would have us in stiches and we would purposefully pretend not to know the answers just so we could let him continue. He would always have a mischievous grin on his face and a glint in his soft blue eyes if he was fibbing or up to no good. He loved to wind Nan up. He hated when I went away and would always want to know when I would be home, counting down the days and asking me to come over as soon as I came home. His family came first. Always. He worked continually to ensure he could improve the standard of living for his family and wasn’t afraid of hard work. I will always remember the Christmas he dressed up as Father Christmas when we over his and Nan’s house. He came down the garden path to speak to us all after Aunty Ann had seen the sleigh fly over the house. Him and Nan took the whole family to Jersey for one of their wedding anniversaries- it was the first time I had been on an airplane. He loved going on cruises with Nan- it was the only break they would take each year from caring for my Uncle full-time. He was a man of strong faith with time for anyone that needed help. In the last year he was really unwell. My Nan dedicated all her time to caring for him alongside my Uncle, enabling him to stay at home. He was not always the easiest of patients to look after due to a lifetime spent providing for his family and never needing anything done for him. His final predicament was difficult for him to accept. It is comforting to know he is no longer in pain and is at rest after 84 fantastic years. I have truly been blessed to have such a wonderful person in my life and I know now he is watching down on me and my family.