My sister in law asked me to come up with some "brief words," (brief? Yeah, I can never be brief) about how much Grandpa meant to me, and to our boys. Each Grandchild will be reading them, tomorrow. So, for Poppy's service, Brian will happily read his memories, along with the following words that I sent to them, on behalf of our three sons and I:
"Dear Grandpa and Poppy,
Today Jackson walked around our entire house, and brought down every photo album, and every picture that we have of you. While he was looking at all the pictures, he reminded us that there was never a better pillow fighter, then you. (Even if you did let him win on occasion). He talked about how he'll never forget the hugs you gave him, everytime you saw us. We can close our eyes and picture each and every hug you gave to us and our boys. Every hug that you gave to our three little guys, would light up your twinkling blue eyes, like shooting stars during daylight.
Jackson remembers how the two of you would just "hang out." Now, hanging out with Poppy was something better then magic. Each moment spent with you, was an adventure, a new memory added to their life. Something as simple as a stroll on the golf course, or sitting next to you during Holidays-unforgettable.. Jack even recalled the times spent in Nana's and your den. When Jackson would snuggle up in your lap, sharing his baby blanket with you, happy to just sit there in your arms, while you watched tennis on the TV. The both of you noshing on the sweets that Nana set out for the three of you. He even remembers all the times he spent walking around with you at the restaurant in your club. The two of you working the room, making your rounds. You always took the time to stop and give Jack the stage, whether it was with the hostess, or your friends, or even your favorite waiter, you proudly took a step back glowing as Jackson chatted with everyone.
Oh Poppy, just by being you, and being there, you have made such an impact in Jackson's life-in all of our lives. Jackson told Elizabeth today, that whenever it was time for us to leave Florida, he would always get the lump after hugging you goodbye, because he would be sad to leave and he would see in your eyes that you were sad. Jackson then said to her, "and now Poppy won't be sad, because he will visit me in my dreams, and I will catch his dreams and see him, because Gramma Caryn's dream catchers are so powerful that they'll reach up beyond the universe. Now, Poppy will never have to say goodbye to me anymore, and he won't have to be sad, and that helps make my lump go away."
Poppy, you helped Elizabeth and I in so many ways, especially by giving our three sons, something more then just compassion, and time, you gave them memories. Memories to be placed within their hearts, forever. There are not enough cards in a deck, not enough holes on a golf course, to express to everyone, how much you meant to us. From the very first memory Elizabeth has of you, when you offered her some of your sweet potato fries from Mississippi Sweets, to all the wonderful memories of you throughout the years, we are just so grateful, so blessed to have known such a wonderful Poppy. A giving Grandpa. Someone unique, and fun to be around. Always full of heart, truthfully honest and real. We wanted to let you know, that no matter where we are, and what we're doing, when we hear someone whistle, we'll always think of you. For your whistle lives within our hearts. We Love You."
Grandpa had this amazing whistle, that the boys, so cute, would try to "mimic." Poppy became known for his whistle. For the many pillow fights he would have with the boys-even this past Summer-our 87 year old Grandpa throwing pillows like a young Benjamin Button.
I miss him so much. He was the first person in Brian's family, to accept me. To welcome me into their family. I ache for Nana, and for Brian, and for his sister and cousins-they had a terrific Grandpa.
I guess when my "lump" begins to surface, when I have the moments of sorrow, I can look at it from the perspective of my wonderfully insightful son, and remember, he can still come to us in our dreams, and he is no longer sad.