GrandpaPosted: November 27, 2012
This post isn’t about politics, rather family and how quickly time can get away from you.
My grandfather passed away a few days ago, having lived a very long life. He was my last living grandparent and he, along with my beloved grandma who has been gone for my entire adulthood, were fixtures in my life when I was a child. A childhood which otherwise held a lot of sadness. Many of my first memories are of them both, and the farm.
Grandpa was quiet, with lively blue eyes. He was mischievous, too. My fondest memory of him was in the hayloft of the barn one day. I don’t remember how I got up there but I couldn’t have been more than three years old. “Sssh,” he whispered, “Let’s play a joke on grandma. I got you.” Picture it: I’m standing perched on the edge of a hayloft, grandpa hanging on to the back of my pants. He’s yelling, “Mother! Come quick!”
I’m not sure what’s going on but in runs grandma, wiping her hands on an apron that I remember always being tied around her waist. Next thing I know, she’s panicking, worried I’m about to come tumbling down and grandpa is in a fit of giggles. I’m pretty sure grandpa got an earful later on.
As I got older and they were no longer on the farm, visits became more infrequent. Moving my own family halfway across the country later on didn’t help either.
But he was always kind to me. A wink now and then, and there was always a pack of Smarties or a quarter for me in his pocket. I’m sure he worried about me, and I’m quite certain I disappointed him, but I knew he loved me. Grandma did, too.
I came across his obituary online and thought I’d share part of it with you so you could know just a little bit about my grandfather, John Neufeld, a hardworking Mennonite immigrant, who came to Canada for a better life.
“John was born in Russia and immigrated to Canada at age 13 where he worked as a farmer until moving to Edmonton with a young family in the 1950’s. There he worked as a truck driver, milk delivery man, and school custodian. In 1964 he moved to the Fraser Valley where he lived until his passing. John was very active in church leadership in Edmonton and was one of the founders of the Lendrum MB Church in that city. He was a man of faith and lived a consistent life. John took great pride in his family, watching the accomplishments of his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.”