Early Monday morning my paternal grandfather, fondly referred to by our entire family as ‘Pop’, passed away. He was 86 years old.
My mother loves to tell how I referred to him as “my friend Pop” when I was little. I remember him indulging my juvenile games and fantastical imaginary scenarios on many an evening or weekend when my parents were out. I remember what I now recognize as an amused smile as he enjoyed watching my active imagination. Those many hours and days that Pop sacrificed as my family’s go-to babysitter are precious to me and my siblings.
I remember the outings he would take us on, whether it was something as simple as a trip to the grocery store, or as exciting as fishing at a nearby lake. Most of all, I remember Pop’s willingness to teach: sinking a 20-foot putt (never did master that one!), hooking an eight pound bass (or, more likely an eight ounce Spot), or playing Gin Rummy were only the beginnings of what Pop would teach us.
Pop taught us more by his life than he probably ever knew. And only in writing this do I now realize how much I should have told HIM. Pop taught me about redemption and strength of will. He taught me about giving to the community. Most of all, he taught me how to earn the deep admiration of family, friends, and peers by living a life guided by a close relationship with Jesus Christ.
In these past few weeks, I have been touched by the outreach of Pop’s friends – his ‘extended family,’ if you will. The well wishing through cards and visitors was truly beautiful. I loved reading through his birthday, Easter, and get well cards (I’m fairly certain he didn’t mind) and seeing names I had never heard before. It firmly cemented in my mind the long reach of Pop’s generous spirit, and the humility with which he lived.
We’ll miss you Pop. See you in the next Life.
I am so very sorry for your loss. I remember hearing about your grandfather way back in the day when we worked together and I know how much he meant to you. Please know that we are thinking of you.
God rest you, Pop.
Pat, great tribute. You know you guys have our prayers. Let us know if we can do anything else for you.
Patrick, you captured Pop so well. There is a depth of meaning here that most will not grasp. But I do. This will be a real gift to your dad. Love you, Mom
God bless your family Pat. God rest his soul.
Patrick. I finally got around to reading your Pop blog. Very appropriate and thoughtful. He truly loved all of his grandchildren and they loved him. I can only hope I can be the kind of grandfather to Simon and Mary that he was to you, Erin and Murray.