Sitting in front of the cricket on Boxing Day.
Across the room my maternal grandmother dozes. (‘Gran’, to my brothers and I; I think we always assumed it was her Christian name.) Ponting has just been dismissed. In his place Hauritz watches the night approaching. Reading Michael Condon’s The Trout Opera—young Wilfred is visiting his grandfather, who relates the origins of bee keeping in rural New South Wales and bemoans the idiocy of Premier Carruthers.
Yesterday is always a day when I remember my own grandfather, married to Gran for more than fifty years, died eight years ago. The afternoon distribution of Christmas gifts was always his responsibility, one I like to imagine he relished. That role now passes around between different elders each year, contingent on the particular household in which the extended family gathers. Like Wilfred, I often sat with my grandfather and enjoyed understanding little of what was said.
He had a giant mind and a gianter heart. His generosity and gracious speech are part of the reason my faith is in Jesus Christ. He was always ‘Papa’ to my brothers and I; his Christian name, as far as we were concerned.