My grandfather has pronounced his refusal to die before becoming a millionare. To my astonishment, I've just discovered he's getting close. So what will he cling on to then? First, it was outliving certain bastards. And they've gone. Then it was seeing his granchildren grow up. And that's happened. Then hitting 80... he's made that milestone too. Last time we spoke, he told me of his utter shock he'd even got to 70, and that he had never in his wildest dreams expected to live to 80. But he's still here. And he doesn't want to go. He's terrified.
This tiny, frail man, who spent his youth chasing battles in World War Two, who went AWOL to get back into the fighting, who danced with death on a daily basis and lusted for more is now afraid to die. His hearing has gone, his sight is going, he's sick and exhausted but he hangs onto his mind and his life with a determination that is almost terrifying. All my life I've been mystified by the fear that his children had of him, of this monster from their childhood, to me he was always this small, gentle, harmless old man, with an amazing willingness to accept new ideas and a brain that never stopped. His politics and opinions are incredibly open minded, particularly for someone of his age and upbringing. Yet in these last few years, I see, finally, what keeps him going. What made him monstrous in his rages, what drove him to battle after battle, what I suspect he has passed down to all of us.... this will, this incandescant furnace of self that powers him, and that will not let him go peacefully.

Love you grandad, hope you find your answers.....


Charles Stanley McKay (Stan)
12/05/1921 - 13/09/2006


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