Monday, December 5, 2011

My grandfather William Brown 9/12/35 - 12/5/11

Most knew him as Billy but he was Grampy to me as a child and Gramp as I got older.  
Me about 8 months old and a very young Grampy

He battled with cancer the past few years:  lung, bowel, and brain.  He went thru many surgeries including a colostomy and most recently brain surgery.  Throw in a heart attack, radiation and chemotherapy.  He was through a lot and he was tired and today was his time.  But that doesn't make the loss any less.  In fact I feel nauseous just thinking about him being gone.  He was center of any room he was in.  The jokester.  The life of the party.

And our family isn't going to the be the same without his big presence.  He has 3 daughters.  My Mom is the one on the far left in pink.

And here is another pic from that day with me and my cousin Leah as bookends next to our moms with Nan and Gramp in the middle.

Here he is with his 3 great-grandchildren.  This was his first time meeting Colin.  We came to visit last November when he had his colostomy.
Nov 2010

My Mom always said I got my outgoing personality from my Dad but I think it’s from my Gramp too.  Afterall, he was the male influence for me growing up.  My Mom had me when she was 18 and my parents divorced when I was 2.  My dad was in the Air Force and lived far away.  I have lots of great memories of being with my grandfather.  From little things like watching him load the wood stove, drying out his nets after fishing or going to Burger King for a hamburger.  I loved going out with him.  I felt like I was with city royalty because he always knew people wherever we went.  More importantly, I felt special and I felt wanted and I think those little moments made a big impact on my life.  I try to do one on one stuff with my kids knowing how special it makes them feel.  
If it's not a coffee, it's a beer!

These days I think it's Tim Horton's where he's royalty.  I've been away from home for years but from what I know, he hung out at all the different Timmy's on the west side.  You know that group of old men talking?  They're at every coffee shop.  The regulars.  I wonder what stories they have about Gramp?  
April 2008.  Gramp first diagnosed with cancer.  

I can hear his voice now saying:  "Weeeell helloooo there Mare," followed by some silly joke usually at my expense.  Gramp constantly shared jokes.  I couldn't believe how quick he was!  And the best part, he never repeated the same stories over and over like some people I know!  

When I was a little girl, he always gave me $2 at the end of our visit, whether Mom and I went to his house or he came to ours.  And as he handed it to me he'd say... "Go buy yourself a hamburger."  I'd thank him and he'd reply with "Keep your eyes open." as his good-bye.  

Our last group shot.  Summer '11.  Colin pulling Vienna's hair!  lol

Gramp worked at the grain elevator for years and years.  When it closed he never stopped working.  He painted houses, fished commercially, and built furniture for income.  He also hunted, split wood and stayed active and busy. He took good care of his home til he physically couldn't do it anymore.  

Meeting Lance back in 2007.  Healthier days.

He and my Nan are very different.  He was the manly man and she loves her soap operas, bingo, yard sales, quilting and bakes the best strawberry pies a girl could have.  Years ago I wondered why they were even together because they didn’t do much together or have similar interests.  But now that I am in a marriage with Jay who loves guns, history and politics and I like making cards and watching foolish romantic comedies, I realize that it’s not your interests that makes the marriage.  God designed men and women differently for a reason.  I think that I’ve learned that when I take my mind of my own selfishness and look at the big picture which is taking care of my family, I am doing what God has designed me to do.  I have a peace in my heart knowing that I am living for His will.  


I have so many memories of Gramp and will miss him dearly.  I wrote him a letter earlier this year in which I told him what he meant to me.  To close here, I thought I'd share the last line of that letter.

"Well Gramp, I just wanted to take some time to tell you what you mean to me since I can’t be there and visit.  I hope you know how much of you I carry with me.  I love you so much and am a lucky girl to be your grand-daughter.  Keep your eyes open.  Love little Mary."


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Obituary:
William "Bill" Brown
September 12, 1935 - December 5, 2011
William

The death of Bill Brown, husband of Marlene “McKim” Brown, occurred on December 5, 2011 at the Saint John Regional Hospital. Born in Saint John, on September 12, 1935 he was the son of the late William and Helen (Gray) Brown.
He will also be remembered by 3 daughters Debbie (Ron) Mazerolle of Long Reach, Joanne Brown (Larry) of Saint John, and Mary (Eric) Daigle of Saint John; grandchildren Jeffery (Sara) Mazerolle, Leah Mazerolle (James), Mary (Jay) Newman, Robyn (Dave) MacGowan, Michelle Stewart, Bradley Daigle (Samantha), Justin Daigle (Coralee); great grandchildren Vienna, Lance, and Colin; and sister Betty Murchison of Calgary. Bill will also be missed by many nieces, nephews, extended family and friends.
Bill was predeceased by his sister Phyllis Whitten.
Bill worked at the grain elevator for 37 years. He also worked as a commercial fisherman, and his greatest love was fishing in the Saint John Harbour. Bill loved people, he was quite the character, and his stories will be missed.
Resting at Castle “Fallsview” Funeral Home 309 Lancaster Ave. Saint John West (634-1701) with visiting on Tuesday, December 6, 2011 from 7-9 p.m. and Wednesday, December 7, from 2-4, and 7-9 p.m.
No funeral service will be held, and a private family interment will be held at a later date.
The family would like to thank their family and friends for all the support they have received during this difficult time.
In lieu of flowers, donations in Bill’s name may be made to Bobby’s Hospice.

10 comments:

Tami Umland said...

How precious Mary.

Jessica @ This Blessed Life said...

Oh Mary, I have tears in my eyes. What a sweet man he was to you! Praying for you during this hard week. *hugs*

Patty Marr said...

Thanks for sharing. . .a good example for all of us. A little scarey, as he is only 4 years older than my father is now.

Answeredprayr said...

also praying for you Mary...what a blessing...love and hugs!! Darcie

Sunflowerakb's Yellow House said...

beautiful story! thank you for sharing. & I'm sorry for your loss. wish I lived closer to give you a hug in person...

Anonymous said...

Mary, Thank you for directing us over to this very special page that you have put up to honor your dear Gramps.

Andria said...

I cried too when I read this. You and your Grampy were very fortunate to have each other, and what a wonderful devotion to him. My thoughts and prayers are with you. Hugs to all of you.

Roxy Ferguson said...

What a beautiful person you are Mary, Your Grandfather would be so proud of the special story and pictures you posted. I don't have to know you to know that your a good woman with great intentions. Billy was a very special man, he was loving,caring, kind and loved to spead cheer to anyone who knew him, he shines on through you. Your stories are uplifting and gracefully written. Thank you to Michelle for sharing your site for people to read. You enlightened me, and made me realize how blessed we really are.
~Roxy~

Tracey said...

Sorry for your loss Mar.

Alyssa said...

Thank you for sharing this Mary. Praying for you all