Sunday, March 13, 2016
This is Pops, Ken's Dad. (And Miss Cleda, his Mom) I woke this morning thinking of him. Not sure why he is with me today, but glad for his company. He was such a sweet man to me. The first time they came to dinner at "our" home, Ken insisted on doing the dishes..his Mom helped him, (she wanted to take all the broccoli salad home) : )
So I went out on the front stoop with Pops, and he smoked his pipe....that was the first time he and I really conversed by ourselves. He was a gentle speaking man. Although you could hear the depth of experience in his voice and see it in his eyes. He had been somewhere, and made his way back. He was calming, strong. good! We hit it off....Ken had to come out and get us to come in that night, for dessert and coffee.
They, Pops and Miss Cleda came over for dinner a few times, always such gracious guests. Always enjoyed the fare. When we stopped in at their place, Pops would inevitably be in or go out to, his garage, that is where he smoked his pipe, and listened to his music...and so that is where I would go as well...
The first Valentines Day I was around, there was a knock at the door, Ken was working, so I answer, and Pops was standing there on my porch, of course I let him in....this adorable man, brought me a single rose, a box of Andes mints, (he had heard, I liked those) and a book, (I am an avid reader, as he was) the funny part is the book was a war story about Viet Nam. Pop's handed over the rose, the candy, and then he explained to me that yes this book was a war story, but it was also a love story....so it was perfect for me. Then he hugged me and left.
The day Ken and I married....we married in our home...my parents were in Tennessee, and could not be here....but Pops and Miss Cleda were, and they stood up with us. LOTS of other family and friends were there. Before the house filled with people, I had put music on low...and as soon as Pops came in he pulled me aside and asked me, "What is that, Who is that, What station?" I gave him the hook up...it was just some slow soft blues, instrumental...but he grooved to it.
Mom and Dad had come to visit from Tennessee, and my father is the strong silent type. I have never really seen him in a social situation, other than back in the old days..lol...when I was a kid, or family things...but when he met Pops...I served up the coffee, and the two took off out to the patio...and I was just the waitress, kept their cups filled, while they talked war stories....it was an instant friendship...and I don't think my father ever made friends that easily...he trusted dogs more than people. But Pops...he passed muster. I always served coffee to Pops when he came over, and to this day to my Dad...he stopped in 3-4 times a week for a cup before they moved back to Tennessee.
When Pops was in hospital, near the end of his life, he wasn't eating...Ken and I were there with him, sittting, and I asked him if there was anything I could make for him, that he would eat....that might tempt him....and he told me "Yes, if you would make me your meatloaf, mashed potatoes, and green beans...I'll eat that Lisa, I promise." Well, you know Ken drove me right home I got to cooking....We stopped at KFC on the way back to the hospital, to grab some of their paper plates and spoon and fork packets. The clerk asked if we were going on a picnic, and I explained why I wanted to buy some...the manager gave them to me, So I bought a cake, then he threw in a cake..lol....(they are very nice people there...I have another story about that particular place and an uncle.)
We got back to hospital, and I had made enough food for Pops and anyone else that might show up....Well Pop ate that meal....I am sad that it was the last meal that he did eat, although, I am happy that he wanted something from me.
Pops went home a day later, he didn't want to pass in the hospital....I remember standing beside his bed, he was past communicating, and yet he held my hand, he would squeeze my hand as I spoke softly to him...He was a strong, beautiful, proud man. I miss him, but I am proud to have been honored with him in my life..it was certainly for too short a time...the impression he left was huge.
I miss you today Pops, you are heavy on my heart. Although you bring me happy memories...I am sending you love up there!