William H.A. Willbond MSM, CD
My grandpa made axe handles he never had any money
When he got the old age pension he thought it was funny
A cheque every month for just being old?
Canada is a country that shares of its gold
He bought the newspaper and his pipe tabbacky
Some new coveralls and a straw hat that was tacky
We walked to the Arbour’s store and he bought me a coke
But we would stop half there and he’d sit and he’d smoke
He sat on his hunkers there were no chairs in the Shanty
He never put on airs and he never dressed fancy
He wore his old hat to church with his suit and his tie
I still miss him yet because too soon he would die
And now just like my old Grandpa I receive the OAP
No one is luckier than an old soldier like me
Lynne and I have four kids and have grandchildren 9
Life it is good and we are all doing just fine
There are my six brothers and two sisters too
They all have families and children quite a few
We still have our family’s deep love for each other
We owe it to Grandpa and our Dad and Mother!
©Copyright May 26, 2008 by William H.A. Willbond MSM, CD
Author’s Note: Inspired by the article, partly reproduced below
I grew up with practical grandparents who had been frightened by the Great Depression in the 1930’s. A grandmother, God love her, who washed aluminum foil after she cooked in it, then reused it. She was the original recycle queen, before they had a Name for it. A grandfather who was happier getting old shoes fixed than buying new ones.
Their marriage was good, their dreams focused. Their best friends lived barely a wave away. I can see them now, Grandpa in trousers, tee shirt and a hat and Grandma in a house dress, lawn mower in one hand, and dish-towel in the other. It was the time for fixing things: a curtain rod, the kitchen radio, screen door, the oven door, the hem in a dress. Things we keep.
It was a way of life, and sometimes it made me crazy. All that repairing, eating, renewing: I wanted just once to be wasteful. Waste meant affluence. Throwing things away meant you knew there’d always be more.
But then my grandfather died, and on that clear fall night, in the warmth of the hospital room, I was struck with the pain of learning that sometimes there isn’t any more.
Sometimes, what we care about most gets all used up and goes away… never to return. So… while we have it, it’s best we love it… and care for it… and fix it when it’s broken… and heal it when it’s sick.
This is true… for marriage… and old cars… and children with bad report cards… and dogs and cats with bad hips… and aging parents… and grandparents. We keep them because they are worth it, because we are worth it. Some things we keep like a best friend that moved away or a class mate we grew up with.