This is probably the hardest blog I have ever written. I mean, how do you sum up the impact someone has had on your life? How can you even put into words how someone has touched your heart? Yet, when the Creator has given you the gift of writing and sharing your thoughts and feelings, how can you not take a moment and share.
John, Jack, Jackie, Poppa. These names all tell us who we are talking about, but who the man was. Poppa had a heart of gold. I first met Poppa about ten years ago when I started dating Cindy. I as nervous that day I first was to meet her parents, but within minutes, I was made to feel like I was family. Poppa was a big part of that. Quick witted, and always playful. You could always count on Poppa saying goodbye to you out the back door and before you came around the house, he had run through the house and was on the porch waving goodbye.
His heart went beyond family as he was always at my niece Nicky’s softball games. Oh not like most parents or grandparents who came and cheered. No, Poppa would hit BJ;s and get a big container of bubble gum or something to pass out to the girls on the team.
He always had that twinkle in his eye that made you know he was “up to no good”. He would always be prodding one of the kids to pull a prank on someone at the family gatherings. Bring out cake and ice cream and Poppa was just one of the kids.
Not long after I came to meet him, the signs of Altzheimers started showing. Soon he lost his mobility as his license was taken away. We got him a golf cart to get around the over-55 village he lived in.
Eventually, even that was too much. Slowly we watched the man we loved dwindle away. The past few months he spent in a nursing home. You could sense his frustration as he tried to communicate but words would not come together. Finally today, he let go of this life.
For those of us left behind, it is bittersweet. While we love Poppa and will miss him so much, in the end, he is in a much better place. He has joined his son, Eddy, and his daughter, Cheryl.
We love you and we will miss you Poppa, but know that you are forever in our hearts.
My heart to your heart, one heart, one spirit.