1974. Winter had melted into Spring. My third year of study in University was quickly drawing to a close. April eased into May. The first day became the second.
May 2'nd, 1974. Perhaps it was a nice day, I don't know. I don't remember. What happened when I returned home that afternoon made me forget.
My landlady met me at the door. She just stood there, not smiling. I just stood there. Something was definitely wrong.
"I have some bad news for you," she said softly, finally. "Your Grandfather died today."
I stood in silence for a few moments, shocked, perhaps, but not really surprised. Grandpa Brown had not been well for quite a while; I had been expecting the news for some time.
I telephoned home to Brighton. Mom answered.
"Are you okay?" I asked.
"We're fine here," she answered. "Your Grandmother has asked if you would be a pallbearer with your brothers."
The world fell in on me. I suddenly felt a terrible weight. Grandma Simpson was the only Grandmother I had! Then that would mean. . .
I was wrong! Grandpa Simpson had not really been ill! Now he was gone. And then I cried.
It had rained before the funeral. My brothers and I carried Grandpa to the cemetery. Nylon straps lay across the grave to accept the weight of the burden we so carefully cradled. Dirt lay in slick mounds at the sides.
Someone slipped in the mud. Perhaps it was me. We almost dropped Grandpa, but we didn't. We couldn't. He was our Grandfather. We wouldn't let him fall.
Earlier, at the funeral home, my brother, Bob, mentioned, almost, casually, that he expected us to be doing this all over again in a few months. We didn't know how prophetic that statement would become.
Grandma left us to join Grandpa the following year. February 27'th, 1975. Together for most of their lives, they would now be together forever.
To friends and family, they were "Hugh and Jenny". To my father, their son, they were "Dad and Mother". To me, my four brothers and two sisters, they were "Grampa and Gramma".
They were Hugh Ross Simpson and Jenny Poole-Simpson. And this is how I remember them.
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Hugh & Jenny - Together