Late last night, my Poppy passed away. He was my mom’s dad and he was the coolest. I try hard to keep what I write on the blog positive, and I promise you, this has a positive spin. I’m writing this because I’m in absolute awe of him. Even in his last few weeks, which I think were harder on all of us than on him, he smiled … a lot. His liver and pancreas had failed, and when doctors and nurses would ask, “How are you feeling today, Pops?”, he’d bellow, “Grrrreat!” Sometimes he said it through gritted teeth and a pained look in his eyes, but he believed it, so he kept on.
I guess what I’m trying to say is that it’s good to smile. No, it’s utterly necessary to smile. I had a friend in middle school who wore a faded yellow shirt with the words, “Don’t Let The Turkeys Get You Down.” I hardly understood it then, still think it’s goofy now, but the faded yellow shirt was trying to get us all to smile, to stay positive, to think happy thoughts. Poppy was always laughing, he was always slipping silverware into my purse as a teenager at Red Lobster (and yes, upon discovering I’d walked out of the restaurant with a bag full of cutlery, I was mortified), he was endlessly telling tales of imaginary girls named “Bubbles” while forever-loving my Bubby (she passed away too young), he told fart jokes and flung paper spitballs, he wore shirts with boobies on them, and he told you he loved you all of the time. Stay positive. Don’t let stupid crap bog you down. Don’t feel sorry for yourself. Well, do, but then take a deep breath, smile and have a cookie, dance in the rain.
image via Fine Art America