Sunday, 9 September 2012

Grandparents Day - Papa Harry

My maternal grandfather, Harry Crawford, fathered 21 children. Papa Harry and I also had a special connection. Perhaps because I, too, had been a bairn who lived under his roof. Apparently Harry had missed not having a baby in the house over the seven years since his youngest was born, and he just doted on me. When my parents made the decision in 1960 to emigrate to Canada to live, Harry tried to convince them to "leave the bairn until you get settled". Mum and dad knew that if they did that, Harry would never send me over to Canada, so they told him they were all going to travel together. Since that hadn't worked, Harry accompanied us to the airport. Harry told them that he was going to take me for a wee walk while they checked themselves in. Some time later, they realized Harry hadn't returned and so they went looking for us. They found Harry and I on our way to the train station. Harry told them he was heading home with the bairn. My gran often said that my moving to Canada was a big heartbreak in Harry's life, and there were times that she would find him wiping away a tear. When she'd ask what was wrong, he'd say he was "just thinking about the bairn and hoping that she was alright".

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