Celebrating his 92nd birthday in April 2013
George Legge was born April 20, 1921 in the small town of Coat Bridge located outside of Glasgow, Scotland. For the next 92-plus years, he lived on this earth, spoke his mind and usually brought a smile to the face of everyone he interacted with right up until his passing on Monday, August 19, 2013.
Like anyone else who has been fortunate enough to have the experience of having grandparents and then unfortunate enough to have to suffer the loss of them, I have lots of memories and stories. Here are just a few:
When I was a kid, every Friday night I would go over to my grandparent's house and spend the night. It was a good chance to hang out with them and now that I am an adult with kids of my own, I am sure it was a chance for my parents to get rid of me for the night and enjoy some time to themselves. I would usually pack my Legos in a traveling case and head over there. My grandparents were both working still but I never had any idea because while I was there I was their focus. I would help my Grandma cook breakfast and would always be sent to ask Grandpa what he wanted to eat. It was usually the same thing week in and week out - two eggs over easy, fried in butter with "bangers" (Scottish breakfast sausage). I can still taste that meal today and still recall the conversations with Grandpa as we sat in the living room and ate.
When I was older, a year after my Grandma passed away, my Grandpa wanted to take me to England and Scotland to see our family over there. I was all for it. He figured it might be the last time he was "young and healthy" enough to get back to his home country. While it was the last time he was there, he did live another 18 years after that. We spent three weeks in the U.K. visiting family and seeing the sights and sounds, My best memories however were when we took the bus out to Coat Bridge to see his hometown and where he grew up. We saw the church he was baptized in, we visited the church he and my Grandma were married in and we saw where my mom was born and where they lived until they moved to the states. It was a trip I will never forget. And I will also never forget that when we were in Scotland, he had to "translate" for me what the waitress was asking me at the pub. Yes she was speaking English, but her accent was so thick I couldn't understand her at all. Grandpa fell right back into his Scottish heritage and had no problem telling me she just wanted to know if I wanted chips with my meal.
And finally years later...after high school, after college, I would just pop into Grandpa's house to visit. And many times I thought to myself, "he is getting older, I probably don't have many of these visits left." So even though I had to go or I had places to be, I would almost always say yes when Grandpa asked me if I wanted a beer. So I would go and grab two bottles, usually of Guinness, and sit and talk with him about anything and everything -- my kids (his great-grand kids), politics, soccer, weather, technology (he got his first computer when he was in his 80's and he loved it), movies and more. And now that his time has come, I am more than glad I always took the time to have that beer if I could.
George Legge is survived his daughter Rosemarie, myself and his three great-grandchildren Anthony, Cole and Max. He joins his wife Joan (who passed away on August 10, 1994) in what lies beyond. And while we who are left behind are saddened by his passing, we know that he was ready to go, we know he is no longer "tired." and we know that he lived life to the fullest right up until his final minutes on Earth, even having breakfast in the morning before his passing.
I'm not sure if it was two eggs over easy or not, but I do that he probably enjoyed it, just like he enjoyed everything else in life.
Chris Thomas is a full-time teacher, part-time freelance writing, father of three, and most importantly, a very, very tired man.
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