26 May 2014

one year ago

A warning to family: you may not want to read this at work.   Continue at your own risk.

On Memorial Day last year, one year tomorrow exactly, one of my favorite people passed away.  Details are foggy, but I know I cried a lot.  Dad called to tell me Poppy had passed away suddenly, and I didn't know what to do, just like I had always told Jesse would happen whenever that day would come.  I won't dwell on the sadness and heartbreak here, but as a mom of young kids, I couldn't curl in a ball and cry all day like I wanted to.  Life was going to move on for them and they would need attention regardless of my present state.  Praise God Jesse had the day off to pick up my slack and bring me ice cream, because I was still in a zombie like state the rest of the day.

Poppy had health problems, but I guess I never knew the severity.  He was always the happy grandpa, ready for a game of cards or to tell a story.  Some of my favorite and most cherished memories are with him and Mama at their house.  Poppy came to piano recitals that must have been like nails one chalkboard early on; he also attended countless soccer games and dance competitions.  I think the competitions were a favorite, and he and Mama quickly became immersed in the Clan MacLeod and Scottish happenings.

So many special memories.
The time I distinctly remember watching Peter Pan with him and laughing so hard I almost fell off his lap during the scene where Peter rescues Tiger Lily.
Sitting on his lap and combing his hair.
Hours of canasta, Monopoly and teaching him to play Settlers of Catan, where he quickly gained a reputation of being the Shephard and hoarding sheep.
Being baptized by him.
The time I spent the night at Mama and Poppy's house and he and I saw a lunar eclipse together.
Countless holidays and birthdays.
Making huge messes with his painting and stamping supplies, and pretending I could build things in his workshop.

And then the harder memories.  Trying to explain to Lily what was going on and why it looked like Poppy was sleeping.  Telling Poppy I was pregnant with his third great grandchild and that I was due on his birthday before I left the funeral home.  Sobbing every time I hear "It is Well" sung.  And being so torn when I heard Lily listing her grandparents, and naming Mama before saying, "now who did I forget, oh yes, Poppy!"

We weren't ready for him to go, but he is no longer suffering even an ounce.  I'm so thankful for the time I had with him and that he was such a big part and so involved in my life.  It has definitely been a difficult year for my family with his death: I have been working on this post for a month and still don't think I have all my thoughts here.  I know we all wish he was still here, and could have one more hug, story, laugh, game of cards, etc.  I want him to meet Kaylee and see how she isn't nearly as wiggly yet as her two older sisters.  Holidays are still hard, and will be for the next long time, I'm sure.  Every single one we celebrated with Mama and Poppy, and after we all started getting married and moving away, we still gathered when we could, though I was the worst at not getting to Findlay.  I'm glad somewhere along the way, we started taking family pictures at every gathering.  It seemed silly sometimes, we JUST got a picture and nothing has changed, but now I can look back and see wonderful times as the family has slowly grown, and now, lost one.
Christmas 2009
Christmas 2010

Jess' wedding, 2009
Easter 2011 (?)
August 2012

Christmas 2012
Easter 2013

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