Today I said goodbye to my Poppa. A sinking feeling has come over me a few times over the last few days. Not only did I lose a monumental figure from my life but I lost the other half of a bonded pair of people. I lost my Poppa and the last piece of my Nana. Everyone’s grandparents are special, but these two people touched so many lives and today this was very evident.
To me and many others my Poppa was a selfless man with the purest heart. Until his last breath he worried and fussed over everyone, but himself.
He was the guy who let me paint my bedroom at his house however I wanted and never painted over the mess. He would set up a tent for me in the summer even though he knew I’d run in before the night was over because I was afraid of coyotes. He let me make “experiments” in the kitchen and never expected my to clean up the mess. He took me fishing even though I scared away every fish with my chatter. He would take me on adventures through the woods and we’d walk for what seemed like hours with homemade walking sticks.
As time went on my Poppa put up with teenage mood swings and opened his home to an array of my teenage friends. He let me have lawn mower races in the fields and bon fires in his backyard. He always stocked the house full of mine and my brother’s favourite snacks. As an adult he regularly gave me job advice. He fixed my car and was even in the process of doing some body work on it before we found out he was sick.
Most importantly my Poppa uplifted me and encouraged me to step outside of my comfort zone. He often pleaded with me to be more courageous and to gain some self esteem.
My finest memories were spent at my Poppa and Nana’s house. I will forever miss the way it smelled, and how comfortable I always felt there. I will miss Sunday dinners where Poppa would trick me into making tea for the two of us each week and the vanilla McCain cakes. I will miss his teasing and surprise lunch dates to Sam’s or Pedro’s. I’ll miss sneaking the twenties he slipped me into his car or jacket pocket when he wasn’t paying attention.
If you’ve never lost a grandparent you’re lucky because your heart breaks in a particularly painful way.