Ode to my Grandfather

Wrote this for my grandfather for his funeral last week:

A saying goes: “Death is more universal than life. Everyone dies but not
everyone lives.” Walter O’Driscoll lived his life and lived it well. He may
not have changed the world and he may not have made his fortunes but he still
leaves us with a wealthy legacy that impacts on our daily lives.

Part of his legacy is 16 children, dozens of grandchildren and a few great
grandchildren, all who would not be here today without him. He may not have
had many assets to his name but he has still left us all rich through
millions of memories and thousands of stories that feature him. We’re never
going to forget the man who brought up 10 children against the advice of so
many. When the Govt wanted to take the kids into care after his first wive
died he wouldn’t have it. He sacrificed a lot for his kids and did his best
to provide a safe place in the world for them. They may never have known each
other if this man gave in and allowed the kids to be sent away.

We’re never going to forget this man. Everytime we see a packet of sweet
afton or smell tobacco we’ll be reminded of him. We won’t be able to look at
a bottle of whiskey or taste it without thinking of Walter. His children will
see his mannerisms reflected in themselves and their children. They’ve seen
it already and as time progresses will see it more.

While we’re sending Walter off today and we’re sad we should also be happy
that we got to spend time with him and we should be overjoyed that we have so
many fond memories of time with the man.

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