International Men’s Day – A Toast to My Hero

On the 27th of June 1943 in a small village called Bancffosfelen, Carmarthenshire Moelwyn Jones was born. It was there he was raised by two loving parents and went on to meet the love of his life and soulmate, Delyth-Ann Jones. Throughout his 72 years of life he worked numerous jobs including a career as a Welsh and History teacher in Cardiff, joining the BBC as an Information Officer and then going on to become Head of Public Relations for Wales and the Marches Postal Board and finally working in the Welsh Assembly for the First Minister. He was a joyful, happy man who brought a smile to lots of people’s faces and, luckily for us sisters, he was our loving Tadcu (grandfather).

A couple of years before turning 70 years old, my Tadcu began working on writing a novel that was based on his lifelong hero, Owain Glyndwr. He would devote most of his time and energy to visiting coffee shops with his iPad and keyboard, and a story forming in his mind. On holidays he would join us on our trips into town with rucksack in tow, ready to seek out the best place for an ice cold, alcoholic beverage, soaking up the sun and getting lost in his fictional world.

His rucksack, containing the iPad with the work-in-progress went with him wherever he went, including in the boot of a taxi car in Cyprus to allow more leg space for him in the front seat. Of course we were dropped off at our destination and the taxi drove off… With said rucksack and iPad still in the boot of the car which Tadcu attempted to chase after with his chicken-like legs. Fortunately, somebody had taken the driver’s business card and so, eventually, the iPad and rucksack were returned! Unfortunately for my Tadcu, leaving valuable items behind was a regular occurrence – he once left a £500 video camera on a coach from an airport to a hotel. It was a good job his head was attached to his body or he certainly would have left that somewhere whilst in one of his usual daydreams!

Delyth-Ann Jones (our Mingu) at the launch of Tadcu’s book.

From that story alone you can begin to get a feel for my Tadcu. He was humorous, sometimes clumsy, and mostly laidback. He worked hard throughout his life, whether it was his job, putting food on the table or keeping those around him happy. A month after his passing in 2015, the first book of his trilogy was published, “Glyndwr: Son of Prophesy”, which was a bittersweet but proud moment for us all as his family.

There are many inspirations I take from him, including the writing, but my one admiration of him was how he would make a person feel when he walked into the room. You could talk to him about absolutely anything and thoughts and advice would be given by him accordingly.

I always felt loved and appreciated when I was in his presence and I know the same applies for my sisters, the rest of my family and his friends, not to mention my Mingu (grandmother) who he would have done (and did do) absolutely anything for. The two used to “court” up on the mountains not far from their local villages as 13/14 year olds and this blossomed into a strong love that made them inseparable for over 50 years and a love we all aspired to have.

He battled a lot with his nerves – perhaps what we’ve now come to know as anxiety, but he always had his head held high, and powered on through, even after major heart surgery. When he passed, a huge space was left to be filled, nothing was quite the same for us. His funeral was so full that people were standing right by the doors of the chapel, colleagues, friends, and family members came to say goodbye to a man that left one hell of an impact on the lives of those he met. I only hope to leave my own mark on the places I visit and the people I meet along the way some day.

Ciao for now x

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Wellbeing writer, host for The Inspired Narrative podcast and mental health support worker.

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