I have been pondering the idea of sharing this on this site tonight but I figured that since I spend so much time on here with you crazy Canuckleheads that I would share the experience with you. My grandfather, Sids DeJong, died tonight from heart failure in Abbotsford. He had been ill and struggling with this for the past couple of years so we knew it was just a matter of time. He was a hero to me, a best friend and even a father. For several years he lived up here in Smithers, and I would walk to his house from mine because I loved the company that he and my grandma (who is still alive) provided. So hospitable. The house was always warm and smelled of coffee and food that I was soon to ingest.
My grandfather was a storyteller more than anything. He loved an
audience to share his stories with. And coming from a large Dutch family he had a butt load of stories! I would always ask him a question from his past to get him started and off he'd go! He would reminisce with such passion that he'd be yelling and almost jumping out of his chair. Grandma would always tell him to settle down but I always instigated the mayhem anyway! In the past couple years of his suffering I would still be that guy. I'd try to get him riled up to tell more stories because I knew that was what made him the most happy. It worked every time. To see him happy telling his stories made me happy. He was my hero after all.
And that is how it was. I could tell you a lot of stories about him but will refrain. I'm not posting this for a pity party. What I would like to get across here is that if you have a family member that you have not seen for a while please make contact with this person. Especially if you love him/her. Tell them that you love them. I am so glad that my son was born when he was. My wife and I celebrate new life even in this time of despair and loss. It really gives me a perspective of life and death.
Bottom line is that I post this article to celebrate the good times I had with my Grandfather, and I want to shout out to all those that visit here that I loved and respected that man and I wanted to make his name known. I don't even want condolences offered in the comments section. I'd rather have people share their own experiences with this. Hey, we are Canucks fans on a website, but we are also human!
I am going to focus on the positives with my Grandfather and celebrate those times that I had with him. It's the best way to go about this. God damn it though, we were planning on watching Gran Torino this summer..I knew he'd laugh...
(Let me explain the picture. I gave grandpa a kayak several years ago because I had 2 of them. He expressed interest in a kayak so I offered him to at least sit in it to see if he was comfortable. Obviously he was comfortable and he got to use it a few times on a lake near Hope before his health went south. It is one of my fave pics of him because...well hell look at the joy on his face!)