Earlier this year, in January, JP's grandfather passed away. It happened kind of suddenly and even though he was 97, his passing came as a total surprise. Until a few months earlier Hiya, as JP and his brother lovingly called him, was still living on his own. He was a fiercely independent man, with enough spunk and enthusiasm to rival men one-tenth his age. A chemist by training (his first job was at a chocolate factory), he actually managed to work fewer years than he was retired -- a life philosophy I respect and admire, and would love to replicate!
The first story I ever heard about the man, who at the time was flying solo living in Miami, was about the time he invented a toy made out of a margarine container, a motor, some scotch tape and a set of markers. With a flick of the switch, the octopus-like contraption would jump to life, a rainbow of scribbles populating the page. In my humble opinion, this story is a perfect metaphor for the type of person Hiya was: he was inventive, quirky, and colourful. He was many other things too, but most importantly, for the last ten years, he was my grandfather. And I will miss him very much.
I already do.