The 28th of February was a real topsy-turvy, roller-coaster of a day. It started off with me getting excited about the Villa/Man United league cup final. We had my brothers and their other halves, our friend Liam and my eldest daughter all come round and watch it. The atmosphere was a good one, we all drank (except for my daughter, who's too young for that sort of thing. Legally, anyway.) wore Villa related clothing, including big foam claret-and-blue hands with 'Come On Villa' on them, complained about the uselessness of both the referee and Emile Heskey, cheered like mad when we scored, shook our heads and tutted and said 'fuckin' hell!' both the times they scored. We lost, but all in all, it'd been a fun afternoon.
Later that night, however, I got the news that my Granddad had passed away. He'd been seriously ill with a lung complaint for a long time. He'd been diagnosed as terminal about a year ago, but he hung on for as long as he could, as he's always been a tough old bugger. It put being disappointed about a stupid football match into its proper context; although he had been ill, and we'd been expecting and dreading the news for a long time, it still came as an almighty shock.
He was a great bloke, my granddad. It was a privilege and a pleasure to have been his grandson. I remember going to see him not that long ago, he was in bed, breathing with the aid of an oxygen tank, and he said to me, in that broad Dublin accent of his (which he never lost despite living in England for sixty years) 'Jaysis, I've lost some weight, haven't I? I've been pickin' my nose with my wrist!'
Even when he was seriously poorly, he never lost his sense of humour. A particularly unique sense of humour which all of us Trimbles have inherited from him. Even the day after he passed, a big chunk of the family (there's a lot of us) was at my Nan's house we were laughing as we swapped stories about him. There was lots of crying as well, we're all going to miss him.
He was the funniest guy I ever knew, and his heart was , as my nan would say, as big as a bucket. There are hundreds of great stories I could tell you about him, but I think that's for another time. It's his funeral this Wednesday, which is St. Patrick's day, which he would've appreciated. There's literally hundreds of people going, it's going to be the closest thing to a state funeral Erdington's ever seen. He deserves a good send-off.
It's true what they say, though. No-one's ever really dead as long as people remember you. He's going to live on in my heart and memories. Bless you, Gramps. Love you.
(This is a picture of my Granddad, my Dad, me and my brothers at my brother Marc's (second from right)wedding. It's the most recent picture I have of him and it was from a happy day, and it's how I want to remember him.)