My Grandfather wasn't a big man.
By the time I was 15, the Twin and I towered over him.
But size didn't matter - he could still kick our asses.
Have you ever heard of Old Man Strength? Pop had that in spades. He'd throw us around like ragdolls if we tried to mess with him. He was the most gentle, unassuming man you'd ever meet, yet he could grip your arm and grind your bones together if need be.
He drove truck during the Second World War. He didn't brag about it, but I've seen the medals he had for being in certain areas, and being part of the U.N. afterwards. That's how he was - it wasn't what you've done in your life that mattered, it's what you're doing now.
He and my Grandmother lived across the steet from me when I was born. Except for 5 years when I lived in Tumbler Ridge, they've lived in the same town as me, no matter where it was. The Twin and I spent 16 hours in a Ryder moving van with him when he helped us move to the Island. (If putting up with two 14 year old boys for 16 hours, while driving the Fraser Canyon doesn't deserve a medal, I don't know what does.) He's always been there, on camping trips, hockey games, cub scouts, weddings, births - the good times and the bad times.
I held my Grandfather's hand as he died Thursday night.
He left this world quietly and peacefully, just like the man he was.
Like I said - Pop wasn't a big man, but he loomed large in my life.
I'll miss you, Poppie.
More than I can say.