He's been away from us two weeks today already, and my whole family is struggling. My Pop was the trouble-maker of the family (my brother, sister and I try, but in the end, he was the master of making us laugh). He was the "Man" of the house, sitting in his chair smoking his cigars and picking the television viewing for the evening. He was also the smartest person I've ever met, he read like he couldn't get enough and remembered everything.
When it was time to pick a passage for my Father's service, it was easy for all four of us to agree on the following by Ralph Waldo Emerson:
"To laugh often and much; to win the
respect of intelligent people and the
affection of children; to earn the
appreciation of honest critics and
endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate
beauty; to find the best in
others; to leave the world a bit better
whether by a healthy child, a garden
patch, or a redeemed social condition;
to know even one life has breathed easier because you lived.
This is to have succeeded."
There are lots of things I'll miss about my Pop, most of which I can't write about because it chokes me up. I just pray he's in a better place, watching over all of us, so one day I'll see him again and he can tell me some new stories and make me laugh, I'll miss the laughs. I'll miss watching shoot em up movies, arguing over the dinner table, his funny sayings, and his laugh. I may share more about my Pop in the next days or weeks, I may not. I don't know what will feel right.
Thank you to all of you who sent well wishes, they were much appreciated.
Now I'm going to go watch my Pop's favorite John Wayne movie (he had a massive John Wayne movie collection) and think of him, I think that would make him happy.