Sunday, 2 June 2013

A Worthless Apology

  January 1, 1984. I was almost 8 years old. It was in the morning and we were watching Team Canada get defeated by Team U.S.S.R when the phone rang(never a good thing in a story). I am not sure who it was, but my Mom burst into tears and my Sister and I soon found out that my Grandfather, Howard Magee had died. My Sister and I also started to cry. I am not sure where my dad was at the time, but I am sure he was doing the same. Maybe this is why I have so little interest in New Years, but that is probably not why I have the big indifference with New Years Eve. So what? It's just a new year, just like every other day. Just an excuse for drunks to drink. Look! The sun rose.! Let's drink!

  My grand parents on my Dad's side had 9 children. 9!? There was Bud(who passed away last year), Jane(the only girl!) John, Boyd, Richard(died years ago), Peter(also passed away years ago), Hughie,, Kirk(my Dad), and Brant. I could imagine the trouble all those boys would get into. I mean Reagan gets into enough for 3 boys on her own. I was in the the back yard working in the garden and I would glance back the odd time to see what Reagan was up to. I could just see a little bit of her. She was picking up seed packets and shaking them. Oh. they make a lovely sound. I start watering again, thinking,  I hope she doesn't figure out those are easy to get into and spill out. I look back to check on her again and she is firing the packets halfway across the deck.. Good. Fortunately I do have some stories of the Magee boys.

  Should I tell the one where Hughie wrestled the broom from grandma or how some of my uncles would play cowboys and Indians for keeps or maybe when Peter thought he was Batman? I think I will keep it short with two little stories. My dad(Kirk) had a bow and arrow set when he was young and what is one of the greatest things to do with projectiles? Yup, fire it into the air as soon as you got out the front door.  "Puinn" straight into the air and over the barn. My dad went toddling off around the barn in search of the arrow. Rounding the corner he saw that grandpa was sharpening the mover blade. He cautiously looked around in the long grass inching closer to grandpa. Pausing for a second and pointing with the file to a spot ten feet from him grandpa asked, "is that yours?" There the arrow was. Nothing else was said. Dad collected the arrow and ran off. Probably to do something safer. Like jumping off the veranda roof with a bed sheet as a parachute.

  Growing up on a farm, especially in the 50's and/or 60's isn't a charmed life. Like waking up in the morning with snow at the foot of your bed. You didn't always get the newest trends in clothes or even get to sleep in your own bed. You had to share, but they had fun doing it. My uncles Richard, John and Peter were screwing around in bed and my grandfather had given them a couple of warnings to settle down and go to sleep. They didn't and my grandpa came upstairs with a long piece of wood to quiet them down. When he opened the door to their room they ducked under the covers thinking that would save them. Grandpa stood there waiting. Then one head in the middle started to poke up out of the sheets and "crack" right on the forehead. Then the head squirmed back down. Grandpa kept standing there waiting. Once again the head in the middle started to move on up, maybe just to check to see if their father was gone. Grandpa cracked the head again and down it went to the safety of the covers. Apparently, the head in the middle  was my uncle Richard and he wasn't trying to get out from under the covers. John and Peter were on either side on him and pushed him up to get hit on the head, but he found strength to force his way back down.

  I was very young when grandpa was alive.  I remember getting the odd $2 bill from him and thought that was wonderful, but it was nothing compared to when he would show me a $50 bill. I apparently loved it. Even if I was shone a $100 I would say, but that's not a fifty. I would sit on the cook stove door and call grandpa over to sit beside me. "Come sit here, grandpa." Which was only about 8 inch square. My grandfather got cancer when I was...I am not sure how old. They removed his nose and gave him a prosthetic one. The cancer has spread though. In the fall of 1983 it had gotten worse and he was confined to a bed. My parents took my sister and I over to the farm to see him. Amanda(my sister) went up to him and spoke to him. I didn't. I was too scared. I refused to go up and talk to him. I could imagine how that made him feel. Your grandson wouldn't talk to you on your death bed. I have always regretted it. Every once in awhile I will remember what a terrible child I was never saying goodbye to someone that loved me. Sorry. He was still the same man he always was. When it creeps into my mind from time to time it overwhelms me with grief. I will never get to see him again. I will never get to beg for his forgiveness for being horrible.. Sorry.  It feels like....I am at a loss for words. I cannot describe it. A hopelessness maybe. Never will I see or hear him again and it rips my heart asunder every time I think of it, Sorry.  I will never get forgiveness for that. I don't deserve forgiveness for it.  Sorry. I am so sorry.....

Death leaves a wound no one can heal, love leaves a memory no one can steal.”

- anonymous 




  1. This story made me smile, but most of all it make me cry. I just wish sometimes we could go back to those times at the farm. I was too young to really appreciate Grandma and Grandpa and all the wonderful Magee Family. I remember Grandpa sitting on his chair with his hands in the steeple position. I also remember when he had his nose removed because of cancer and me going to the couch where he was laying and touching it. I was just a kid and was curious, not knowing how sick he was and how that hurt him.

    I miss the Farm and having Grandparents and being around family. The Farm brought us all together. We always knew there would be a home cooked meal and a hot cup of tea waiting for us...anytime, any day.

    Thanks for sharing

  2. Jeremy, that brings tears to my eyes.
    Where have all the good years gone.?
    I loved the farm, but being busy raising children, I, too, didn't appreciate what I had, 'till it was no longer there. :(
    We need to get back to the roots, instead of all of us in our own little world, thinking we are busy!
    WE ARE A LONG TIME DEAD!!!!!!! We only have one change in this big bad world !!!!!!!
    Thanx for sharing that story!