Saturday, April 4, 2009

Counting Blessings by Remembering Poppi

When I married Scott- I received the gift of another Grandfather. From the moment I met Poppi- he was my family. He became my rock solid support. If I had a dream, a goal, or a problem, Poppi was my cheerleader and ally.

Poppi was our go-to man for just about anything. If I got a flat tire, needed a bug-man referral, needed a bookshelf, a tow, some money, a meal, it really didn't matter. I knew that I could unconditionally count on him.

Poppi gave me away at our wedding. I remember us walking down the aisle and him having to remind me to "slow down."- I was nearly running and he was trying to keep time with the music.
Thank goodness he stopped my sprint...

If I argued with Scott, I could count on Poppi to take my side. If I was having a hard time at school or work- I could count on Poppi to tell me I was in the right- & the others ...were not.

In graduate school, Poppi literally paid me for good grades. He never missed an opportunity to ask about school and always found ways to help.

He was at the hospital when Chandler was born. The bond between the two of them was and is beautiful. Each time Poppi saw Chandler was like the first time. His face would literally light up with a huge smile. A pure joy and happiness.

When Scott and I started our businesses, Poppi did everything he could to help. He asked me everyday about patents, manufacturing, and distribution. He counted my inventory, helped us ready the offices, worked on the wheel chair ramp. Whatever we needed, he was there.

There are so many things to be said about Poppi's life before I met him. A World War II Veteran- who served as a Tail Gunner. Poppi was sent on more than the usual maximum number of fly over missions...and survived.

As Scott's Grandpa, Poppi taught him how to play baseball. He and Scott spent hours in the back yard throwing and catching the ball.

When Scott was young, he built him a wooden go-cart. Many years later, he contributed towards a gas-powered go-cart. This was when Scott learned the phrase, "If you mess with the Bull, you get the horns." When Scott would drive the go-cart too close to Poppi, Poppi would throw partially full beer cans at him. Dodging the beer cans is how Scott learned his defensive driving skills.

Poppi did his best to attend ALL of Scott's and later Chandler's sporting events. He could be counted on to rake the field, bring cold drinks, and yell at the coaches & referees.

Chandler says, "If you told Poppi that the game started at 6 p.m. you could always count on him to be 2 p.m. When we showed up at five thirtiesh he would be angrily tapping his watch, but after a second out came his smile. When swimming in his pool, Poppi would throw sinking discs to me as I jumped in. He would always check on me."

My words have failed miserably to capture the essence of what Poppi has meant to us. We are so grateful to have had him in our lives, to have the wonderful memories, and to know that how much we were loved.

We love & miss him terribly!!!

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