Well, I may have the exact year wrong…
It was on a boxing day in the mid-90s, I think it was 1994, that my grandfather on my mum’s side died of skin cancer (the other’s alive and well).
My grandmother remarried about 10 years ago, and they’ve been happy together. He’s been treated for cancer for the last few years; I’m not sure where it began but it’s affected his throat more recently (he had to have a tracheotomy) and radio- and chemo-therapy have weakened him a lot. At the start of this week he was admitted to a hospice, and as of this evening he’s sedated, on oxygen, and not expected to last much longer.
Obviously my relationship with Vic (which is his name) is different to the relationship I had with my grandad, but this is still a fairly big blow. A lot of it is sympathy for my grandmother, which I don’t recall from last time (I was a selfish little bugger at 13). It’s affected me too – I like Vic, and we get on well. He’s upbeat, kind, and mentally strong; in fact, if he weren’t sedated I’d bet on him over cancer any day if willpower can do anything.
I’ll be going up to see them tomorrow with my parents.
Edit: as of 5AM today (Christmas Eve), much of the above needs to be rephrased in the past tense.