Relay for Life brings memories of beloved grandfather

OPINION: The familiarity of the flavour combination was the trigger.

A salty cheddar biscuit washed down with a cup of tea last weekend and I was instantly transported, hot tears rolling down my cheeks.

The unlikely duo had been a pre-breakfast tradition of my childhood on cold Victorian mornings when I would run down the stairs of our split-level home and climb into bed with my grandparents before school.

My grandfather, Clive, would put on a scratchy old flannelette dressing gown, head to the kitchen and return with tea and my favourite biscuit. By his bedside was a framed photo of the day I was born.

This hardened retired farmer and labourer, looking down with pure joy as my tiny fingers wrapped around his. That was the way of it for the next 15 years.

With corporate parents busy at work, he and grandma were there for every school carnival, play and achievement.

Then, without warning, in 2003, a melanoma, formed in the years before we knew anything about being SunSmart, invaded his lungs. He died weeks later.

Not a day goes by where I don't wish that man, who was so proud of a Year 9 history assignment that he sent it to the local paper, was still here to read this.

But it will be his memory, a cut square of that dressing gown and a cheddar biscuit for prosperity that I will carry with me next weekend.