Babywearing with Jess

The Grandfather my kids will never get to meet…


Ohh, my dad… 😢 I really wasn’t sure how/when/if to blog about this here but I rediscovered an old photo of my Dad wearing me as a tiny newborn and shared it on a babywearing group I am in on Facebook and it got me thinking…


This is my Dad wearing me, way back in the ’80s..

I love this photo, I really do. It’s like a little link in the parenting journey for me with my Dad. My Nanna, my Dad’s mum, shared this gem of a photo with me after she saw me babywearing my eldest. She passed away two years ago now, and my Dad, well that was a crazy five years ago…

I have in the past blogged about loss and my whole processing of his death; he was progressive in the fact that he was an active Facebook user before he died even all those years ago; he was running businesses as part of a global telecommunications company, Vodafone, so he kind of had to be.


There are Facebook tribute groups to him, Vodafone set up a special award in his honour (see lower down for a video) and I campaigned for a very long time about the “darker side” of social media after being incredibly upset about how Facebook handled “memorialising” his account in his passing etc (this is all part of a completely different story that totally engulfed me in the two or so years immediately following his death –

But I don’t feel the need to rehash this here…

I could rave endlessly about my loss and sadness in his passing but the thing that has stuck me even more since I became a mum was about how much my kids were missing out on with him not around for them to know… My heart aches three fold for him when I think about it even though my kids may never truly know what they are missing out on…


But I have vivid memories for some reason of friends of mine at school who’s grandparents had passed before their birth and them saying they didn’t like to bring the topic up with their mums or dad’s or ask about that grandparent because it made their parent sad.


While it does inherently make me sad, or rather makes my heart heavy to think about my Dad, the last thing I would want is for my sons to be worried about mentioning him or asking about him because it will make me sad or cry. In all reality, the dead and our ancestors can only be passed to us in stories and memories and I just wish I could really do justice to capturing that for them.

Pa, Nanna & I the day I was born

So this is to my boys, my beautiful kids…

If the impact someone had on the world is the space they leave in their passing, then your Pa had impact and influence beyond that I think even he comprehended.

His funeral was surreal, people flew from all over the world to Adelaide (including your Dad and I) where his body was sent from the Middle East where he and Nanna where living at the time; the place was packed and people even lined the walkways of the massive cathedral the service was in.. The whole thing was recorded with huge television style video cameras to telecast live to other parts of the world..

There were videos played in between the time people spoke, myself and Nanna included.. It was like one last production of Pa’s, like the “road shows”, “launch parties”, or media events he had headed in the past…

Afterwards, the wake, was like a huge party.. After being kicked out of the hotel bar, the “procession” bar hopped around Adelaide Central, getting kicked out of one bar and on to the next.. Just as parties tended to do when your Pa was around.. It truly was a celebration of his life and impact, nothing like a normal funeral at all!

Afterwards, your Dad, Aunty Kate & I flew back to Qatar with your Nanna to help support her sorting out his affairs there.. We stayed for three weeks and attended all kinds of events held in his honour. On the one hand it was strange we had to share our grief with so many other people and all over the world (further memorials were held in every country your Pa had lived and worked in, New Zealand included; his impact here alone is far and wide still to this day…), yet on another, we never felt lonely in our grief.

Still five years later, on his birthday (7/7/1959) or the anniversary of his death (two years and one day after you were born Joshy) people post messages on tribute groups etc and I still now occasionally get random emails from people only just learning of his passing and sending condolences and stories that demonstrate the impact he had on thier lives…

I will never be able to do justice to capturing the man he was for you boys, and if I tried to even write down half of the best stories (riding the Elephant down Queen St is one I do tell you everytime we visit the zoo 😍), this would turn into a book with multiple chapters which isn’t at all my intention.

I will always make an effort to share stories with you guys, to keep his memory alive.

But for now, you guys are too young to understand; sometimes I start to share a story with you or show you a video of Pa and your interest is very limited but I like to imagine one day you will be interested in this stuff and for then, I wanted to make record of some of this multimedia that is still available…


I am sorry you will never get to meet your Pa, I am sorry he is not around to play with you and I worry that the stories you hear won’t ever really do justice to the amazing man he was..

But the one thing we are very lucky to have are all the videos and photos and stories and tributes to him that mark the impact he made on the world and people all over it in the time he was here…

Your Pa was always great with kids; he loved thier energy and enthusiasm, a trait I think I may have inherited from him…


And when I look at photos on tribute pages to him, the ones featuring other people’s kids really pull at my heart strings because I know just how much he would have loved to play with you guys…


(I have blocked faces with emojis as these kids are now teenagers and I’m not sure how they would appreciate being featured on my blog 😉)


He truly lived in the moment your Pa and he filled every moment he had.. He may have only been 51 when he died but he crammed a whole lot more into those years than most of us do in our whole lives..


And there are times already when one of you has said or done something and Dad and I look at each other and laugh and your Dad will say to me, “that’s a bit of your Dad coming out in them…” 😍


He was all about fun your Pa, he made and had fun in everything he did. And in business as much as in life, he pushed boundaries and was all about making an impact or getting a reaction (that’s why there are so many photos and stories of him in silly costumes and dresses, he was known to swap clothes with ladies after a few drinks as wearing a dress is a sure fire way to get a reaction as it turns out!)…

I also love his special affiliation to New Zealand, our home, where you guys were born… ❤

He lived life to its full, something we were all reminded to emulate in his passing… This photo is of him and Nanna dancing it up in Thailand the week before he died. He was full of life, right up to the end of his, just the way he would have wanted to be…



He would have, he does, I’m not sure what tense to use, but the thing I do know is the love, from him to me, to you guys, and the other way back.. You guys have some pretty epic guardian angels over your shoulders through out life, but your Pa, my Dad, he is definately looking down on us all, watching out for us and in his own werid ways, reminding us how proud he is of all of us.

Please don’t be afraid to ask me questions, I will continue to tell you guys stories every chance I get, and know, you are special, just like him, you guys are capable of anything..

And just like him, my love for you, is endless and forever…


4 thoughts on “The Grandfather my kids will never get to meet…

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