Why St Davids Day Is Such A Special Day For Me


For many March 1st is just the same as the start of any other month, but it’s actually St David’s Day– the patron saint of Wales incase you didn’t know. I personally think it’s a bit of a shame that everyone takes advantage of St Patrick’s day even though they’re not Irish but people don’t bat an eyelid for St David’s, St Andrew’s or even St George’s day. March 1st for me and my family isn’t just St David’s day but it’s the birthday of my Grandpa, my mum’s dad who sadly passed away when I was just eight years old.

A lot of my family say that I am very much like him, I am constantly learning and educating myself through additional courses and pushing myself to do better which is something he did. Despite having barely any qualifications at school he went back to night school to get his exams when my mum and auntie were children so that he could get a good job and provide for his family. Back in the 60’s this wasn’t a common thing to want to better your education and this reflected in his later career.

I can say with absolute certainty that my love for reading definitely comes from him as no one else in my family is like this. Every year at Christmas when presents are unwrapped and dinner is being made I’ll lose myself in a book I’ve been bought and not even notice what’s going on around me with people talking, the TV blaring out and even people trying to talk to me. Although our reading material would have been vastly different I do feel like I’m continuing his legacy a bit each time I finish a book.

I’ve also been told that my inability to laugh at myself is quite similar to my Grandpa (and my mum) but sadly as I was so young each year I seem to remember less and less about him. I remember the days when I was younger of staying around my grandparent’s house and running into their bedroom in the morning to get cuddles, and I remember the Christmas’ we’d spend together as I tried to feed everyone plastic food from my new toy kitchen.

family photos

But more than anything I remember the end. Like many other courageous people out there my Grandpa died of cancer, but despite him having an inkling we didn’t know until the very end. I remember him being at my Nan’s house on his last days and I remember the funeral and telling myself at eight years old to not cry because I needed to be strong for my family.

A lot of the time I wonder what he would think of me now and whether he’d be proud of what I have achieved with my life. I’m not a religious person at all but it would be nice to think that there is something after we die and that he is looking down on me and can see how my life is progressing and panning out. Would he agree with the life choices I had made? Would he have been proud of my university degree or would he have influenced me subconsciously to have done something more traditionally academic?

Would he have hated my tattoos as much as the rest of my family or would he secretly have loved my body artwork? And would he have commended me for always being on the go as opposed to being worried that I am burning the candle at both ends? These are all questions which will never go answered but all I do know is that I hope where ever he is that he’s proud of the person I have become.

Almost all of us have experienced the devastating consequences of cancer and each year strides are being made to prevent people dying but it doesn’t make things any less traumatic.

March 1, 2016
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  • Reply Ashleigh - www.beingashleigh.com

    Such a lovely post Rhian 🙂 Happy St David's Day x

    March 1, 2016 at 1:08 pm
  • Reply Kate Hackworthy

    What a beautiful post! I, too, feel an affinity with the grandfather that I didn't get to know. Enjoy celebrating, and you're right, we need to celebrate it more!

    March 1, 2016 at 4:43 pm
  • Reply Agata Pokutycka

    I was very lucky to know both my grandfathers but sadly they both passed away 🙁
    Happy St David's Day

    March 1, 2016 at 9:12 pm
  • Reply Nayna Kanabar

    I am sure your grandad would be very proud of you. Lovely post.

    March 1, 2016 at 11:00 pm
  • Reply Laura Ferry

    Aw what a lovely post. I'm sure your grandfather would be very proud of you and your achievements. I don't have my grandparents any more and really wish they were around to see me as an adult xxx

    March 2, 2016 at 4:21 am
  • Reply Dannii Martin

    What a lovely post. It's so nice that you have the same personality traits as your grandad.

    March 2, 2016 at 1:23 pm
  • Reply Life-As-Mum

    Oh bless you! I am sure your Grandfather would be very proud of you lovely. Beautiful post.

    March 2, 2016 at 1:37 pm
  • Reply Stressed Mum

    Oh what a lovely post, I am sure your Grandad is looking down so proud of you now x

    March 2, 2016 at 4:33 pm
  • Reply Natasha Mairs

    this is such a lovely post Rhian, loved reading it and looking at the photos f you and your grandad x

    March 2, 2016 at 6:31 pm
  • Reply Don't Cramp My Style

    Very touchy post, last year I wrote rather angry one when my grandma passed away. lovely family photos!

    March 2, 2016 at 7:07 pm
  • Reply Nicol

    beautiful post! your grandpa will always be a part of you. whatever decisions you have made, he would be behind you all the way 🙂

    March 2, 2016 at 9:31 pm
  • Reply Rebecca Smith

    Such a beautiful post, I'm sure he would be proud of you x

    March 2, 2016 at 9:50 pm
  • Reply ana de jesus

    Aw Rhi this brought tears to my eyes, my own grandma died three years ago of cancer too and it is such a harrowing disease. She was in so much pain and lost everything her sight, her speech and seemed in her own world. But she always knew that you were there and is one of the bravest women I have ever met in my life. She went through so much and is the mirror image of my aunty who I see as my mother. Your grandad would be so proud of what you have become and everything you have done in your lifetime so far. Keep going hun you have a lot to give yet x

    March 2, 2016 at 11:43 pm
  • Reply Leanne Dolan

    This is a lovely post. I don't have either of my Grandads in my life anymore. I'm sure both mine and yours are looking down on us and are proud!

    March 3, 2016 at 7:42 am
  • Reply Catstello

    This was a really good read! These kind of days don't signify much to me, so I'm always interested to see why they matter to others.

    March 3, 2016 at 9:15 am
  • Reply Whitney Harries

    This is such a lovely post! I also lost my grandfather at 8 years old and I only remember vaguely some of the memories and I often hate myself for not remembering – I'm sure your grandad would be extremely proud of you for all your efforts x

    March 3, 2016 at 10:36 am
  • Reply georgina davies

    Such a lovely post! Both of my granddads were Welsh and the day is really important to me too. I never met one of them sadly, but my other granddad I was very close too. Remembering them is so important though I want my children to know about them x

    March 3, 2016 at 10:42 am
  • Reply Tiggy Poes and Flutterbys

    Lovely post! My Grandma died after battling Leukaemia and I'm always told how much I'm like her. Of all my family members no longer with us, I miss her the most.

    March 3, 2016 at 10:55 am
  • Reply Elizabeth S

    Aww what a lovely blog post! So wonderful that you had that close relationship. Cherish it.

    March 3, 2016 at 1:28 pm
  • Reply Liz Mays

    Cancer is such a horrible nasty disease. I'm sorry that he took your grandpa away from you far too early. I love your memories of him though.

    March 3, 2016 at 3:04 pm
  • Reply Zoe IKIWN

    This is such a touching post, thank you for writing it. The reasons that certain holidays mean things to people are multi-faceted and always interesting. I'm sorry that you lost your Grandpa to cancer, but it sounds as if he still has such an influence on your life and that you are very much alike! xx

    March 3, 2016 at 6:21 pm
  • Reply Jessica Ayun

    A trator disease. Keep reading and he will surely be happy and proud of you 🙂

    March 3, 2016 at 11:23 pm
  • Reply Tanya

    A lovely post and I am sure he is watching down on you, proud as punch at the person you have become! x

    March 4, 2016 at 11:36 am
  • Reply Emma White

    I think he would be very proud of you – and know he is with you every step of your journey

    March 4, 2016 at 2:30 pm
  • Reply Hannah Dainty

    My birthday is on St. Patricks day so we do celebrate it but not because it is St. Patricks day if that makes sense? I am sure your grandad is still with you in some way

    March 4, 2016 at 4:58 pm
  • Reply francesca nelson

    Such a lovely post! Its great that you have such lovely memories and your family see the similarities between you both! Infortunatley I have never had grandparents and I feel like I've missed out on an integral part of life because of that! Sorry to hear of his passing to cancer my mum died of cancer, its horrible but I always take comfort remembering the happier, healthier times as I'm sure you do 🙂

    March 4, 2016 at 6:19 pm
  • Reply Kitty Kaos

    Yay for St David's day! I am Welsh so love celebrating but it is a shame more people don't X

    Miss Kitty Kaos – Adventures Of A Riot Grrrl

    March 4, 2016 at 9:43 pm
  • Reply Sarah-Louise Bailey

    This is such a lovely post – I don't really remember my Grandfather who I did know, my only memories of him are of him in hospital – but I am very glad of those. x

    March 7, 2016 at 12:05 am
  • Reply Candace

    Such lovely memories you have. English don't celebrate St Georges Day at all then at the other extreme is St Patrick's day where everyone celebrates whether Irish or not. Having lived in Wales for a number of years where we lived the day was celebrated in school but not really any where else. It's such a shame we don't celebrate our heritages more.

    March 8, 2016 at 8:59 am
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