Tuesday, September 18, 2007

My Pop

We all have those memories we prefer not to go back to. They are just so bad it makes you sick to your stomach.

Well, five years ago today I lost my Pop (GAS's hubby of 52 years). It was sudden. It was devastating. He collapsed from a stroke around 7:30 am in the morning at their house and I got the call shortly afterwards to come to the hospital about an hour away. The only time I allow myself to think about it is on the anniversary of his death. I prefer to spend the other 364 days of the year remembering how loving and kind he was. I like to remember leading him and GAS to the Lord around my dining room table shortly after #1 was born. I relish the memories of him packing up paper and plastic grocery bags full of cheese steaks, tasty cakes and sticky buns for me to take back home to Florida after my visits to PA. He and GAS walked me down the aisle at my wedding when neither of my parents were there (that's a whole other story for another time). I feel like we are honoring him by taking care of GAS and providing a loving home for her.

Well, the day he died I felt as if I aged ten years. When we arrived at the hospital he was unconscious, but the doctors were hopeful. That lasted about an hour. By lunch time we were discussing living wills and by mid-afternoon I was sending The Husband to fetch #1 from school to say good-bye. Mercifully, he drew his last breath when we had left to get the kids a bite to eat that evening in the hospital cafeteria. With the exception of #3, who was only 10 months old asleep in a stroller in the corner, the rest of us missed my mom and cousin screaming and collapsing in the hallway when he died. I felt like a part of me died with him, yet I worshiped and danced and praised the Lord that he had surrendered his life to Christ and was healthy and whole in the presence of God. We had a beautiful memorial service with a slide show to Mercy Me's song, I Can Only Imagine.

Throughout the years I occasionally asked God if Pop was really in heaven. Despite, surrendering his life to Christ he did not really attend church, but he prayed to Jesus every night. It's one of those questions that kept me awake at night, but I felt like it was more of a tormenting from the devil then anything else.

Today, as the question entered my mind, as I remembered his death 5 years ago, guess what song played on the radio! Yes, I Can Only Imagine. God spoke to me in volumes. Pop is "surrounded by His Glory". Thank you, Jesus!

While this day is marked with sadness of all I feel we have missed in the last five years since he has been gone, I know I'll see him again one day when I, too will dance before Jesus!

I put a picture of us under my Pic of the Week; however, it stretched us out for some reason and looks kind of ridiculous. But, you get the idea...he was making me laugh!


Anonymous said...


I can't believe it's been 5 years. Your Pop was the best--he had the best sense of humor and he loved you so much! I still remember how proud he was walking you down the aisle, sitting in his kitchen on Evans Ave (I can hear him saying something like, "Gertie look who the cat dragged in") and so many other memories. I know he's in Heaven looking down on you, still so proud. Now you got me all chocked up at work. Give GAS a kiss for me.

Classic MaMa said...

Oh, he's there alright. :)

Beautiful post, Melissa. What a wondeful tribute to your Pop. I do have to laugh, however, that his name is Pop and grandma's name is GAS. :)

The Gang's All Here! said...

I'm so glad that you have 364 days of memories that are happy and silly and loving, so that the one day you remember the sadness doesn't feel so hopeless. And yes, I have struggled with the questions of whether or not my very Catholic grandpas are with Jesus, too. But like you, I trust my FATHER and resist the doubts of the enemy.

BTW: My grandma's name was Gertie too!! SO glad my folks weren't into me being her namesake :)

Promises Fulfilled said...

That was really beautiful to read. Thank you for sharing that with us