It’s been a year now. Since the death of Russell Spiller. And I just want to spend some time remembering this special gentleman & the role he played in both my life, and so many peoples lives ..
Russell was kind, funny and generous. If he could, he’d do ANYTHING for you – and I don’t just mean family, if he saw anyone in need: he’d be there offering all that he could.
I rarely recall him being grumpy – except for occasions in his final months – frustrated that his body had stopped behaving the way he wanted it to. Old age did not sit well with Granddad. (I can totally relate, I suspect I will be much the same!)
My most common memories of Granddad are as follows, in no particular order:
“Now, what else can I tell you?” Always alert / interested in things around him and the world, that was one of his enduring phrases, for me.
“Right hand down / Kick her in the guts, Trev” – hailed loudly, as he waved me from the driveway of the ancestral home out into the traffic on Kennedy Road.
I was there just last weekend visiting Nana.. it didn’t feel the same, not being waved away .. Something I always knew would feel odd when the time came..
“Anything for you!” usually followed by “kiddo, or #1 granddaughter” was also common for me.. but I also heard him say the first bit to others.
And he meant it .. it was amazing to witness that generosity and kindness. And many’s a time I found myself thinking “I want to be like him”, as I grew up.
Because he really was an amazing role model. Person.
One of the other things I especially loved loved loved about Russell was his joy for life, there was an almost child-like excitement about trying things / new stuff – “whacky-doo” he’d say, when presented with something that he thought was pretty awesome. Or new. Or different (etc!)
Such as this dessert for his 90th, when I took him and Nana to 1024 for lunch.
Look at the glee – the delight.
I love it. And miss it.
Just do it! Nike move over – Granddad coined it first!
I recall a few times thru’ my life sharing what I was up to with assorted family members. And I’d get everything from “Oh dear, are you sure?” from my worry-wort Grandmother to “you’re mad” (a variety of ’em would roll with that one, lol)
But from Granddad I could always rely on a barrage of questions, a curiosity and excitement in what was to be my next adventure.
I try often to do what you said to, Granddad – and give it a go ..
Thank you for such sage counsel.
I am not sure how exactly to finish this post. I could dredge up memory after memory because there are SO many, but I think I’ll roll with the most typical, wonderful thing he said: as a minimum every Xmas – but pretty much anytime he had a meal with the bulk of us around:
“It is nice to be in the body of my family” (uttered while beaming around the table benevolently at us all)
I could not have wished for a better, more beautiful and loving patriarch to grow up with.
I love and miss you so very much, Granddad.
RIP, your number one granddaughter