Tuesday, October 21, 2008

In Memory of my great-grandfather

My great-grandfather passed away last week. He was my mom's maternal grandfather. My children met their great-great-grandfather... that's FIVE generations. That's awesome. He was awesome. He was 97 when he died. He was diagnosed with bowel cancer only 2 weeks before he died. Until Sept he lived alone in his highrise apartment overlooking the Saint John Harbour. He loved it there. There was an indoor tunnel system that went from his apartment all the way to a mall and city market. He loved his independence. He had bad hips for as long as I can remember and he used a cane until just a couple years ago when he got a scooter. He'd made the trek to the market with that cane, stopping at various benches to rest along the way. Lots of seniors did the same so he socialized as he went along. Many people knew my Gramp.
The last time I saw him was April 2008 during our last visit to Saint John:

Here we are when I was 5.

I called him Murray when I was little because I had two Grampys and he wanted to avoid confusion. When I realized he was my grandfather, I called him "Grampy Murray" then eventually just Gramp. It was just one of those simple but special things between us. I stayed with him a couple times as a kid. He made me those folded accordion handholding paperdolls out of newspaper. I was amazed. He also introduced me to rockyroad ice-cream. I always think of him when I eat it. I always will. He was a funny guy and had a very sharp mind. Not something you'd expect out of a 97year old. You didn't have to raise your voice to speak to him, and he always remembered details from previous conversations. My husband was impressed by him. That made me proud. That's my Gramp! The last few visits to Saint John have been quick, but we always made sure to see him, even if for a few minutes. We met at the mall because he was a heavy smoker and I didn't want to take the kids to his apartment, plus I didn't want him to feel he had to clean or entertain us. He zoomed over to the Market Square on his scooter. Here's a video from the last time we saw him. Vienna is chasing the scooter while Lance gets a ride!

Here is when Gramp met his first great-great-grandchild Vienna in 2005:

Here he is meeting Lance for the first time in 2007:

A nice 5 generation shot before Lance was born:

Zipping around the mall with Lance:

My Grampy Murray will be very missed. One last thing to share about his character. In the hospital, he knew the end was coming. He told my grandmother to go into his wallet and get some money. He said that Mary would be coming and to give her gas money. That's my Gramp. Always a gentleman.

MCKIM, MURRAY IVISON - The death of Mr. Murray I. McKim, husband of the late Marjorie E. (Davis) McKim occurred at the Saint John Regional Hospital on Monday, October 13, 2008. Born on March 13, 1911, in Saint John West, he was the son of the late Maude L. (Christopher) and John I. McKim. He lived most of his life in Saint John, followed by twelve years in Toronto, moving back to Saint John in 1981. He was Baptist by faith. Mr. McKim was the accountant for NB Publishing for 40 years, retiring in 1977. Mr. McKim is survived by his daughter Mrs. Marlene (Bill) Brown of Saint John West; seven grandchildren, several great-grandchildren and several great great - grandchildren; a brother Warren D. McKim of Fairvale; and a sister Grace, Mrs. Stanford Wilson of Saint John; and several nieces and nephews. Besides his wife, he was predeceased by daughter, Joan Ferguson; son, Russell John McKim; and brother, Wilbur Mckim. Resting at Castle "Fallsview" Funeral Home, 309 Lancaster Ave., Saint John West (634-1701), Visiting at Fallsview on Wednesday from 2 to 4, and 7 to 9 pm. The funeral service will take place 11 a.m. on Thursday October 16th, 2008 from Fallsview Chapel. Interment to follow in Cedar Hill Extension Cemetery. Online condolences may be made at www.castlefh.com


Anonymous said...

What precious, precious memories you have Mary. And to think your children actually met their GGGF! Your tribute to him is wonderful, and the photos are sweet. Still praying for you...Bee

Leah said...

Very nice tribute, Mary. He is truly missed here at home, but was loved and aware of it until he left us. Although they're young, your kids are fortunate to have met him :) Anyone who had the chance to meet him was.. and I feel the same about Warren. They are so much alike in so many ways. We're lucky to have such a great, entertaining & loving family.

Tami Umland said...

Thanks for sharing your memories of your Great Grandfather, I enjoyed hearing about the details. I think it's great that all 5 generations were able to meet.

kbmama said...

What a beautiful post ;..) We feel blessed that our kids met Jason's grandparents too.