Thursday, June 15, 2017

Happy Father's Day to my Guardian Angel

I recently lost half of my heart, my best friend in the world and the first man I ever loved; my Poppa. While he had been slowly getting closer to Heaven over the past few years, when it finally came it still ached all over. This will be the first Father's Day I won't be sending a card or wishing him a special Poppa's Day. Instead, I will spend the day with him through my memories.

Thankfully, I've got memories aplenty with that gorgeous beast of a man. He and I had a bond like no other and he was so much more to me than just my grandpa. He was my coach, best mate, mentor hooligan, escort to all Father-Daughter dances and of course the hand that gave me away.

I can recall spending hours playing catch with him in front of the house. Heading to bowling alleys, arcades, water parks, miniature golf courses and every Foot Locker in our area. Eating pizza and ice cream until we approached illness and being spoiled silly (I of course am not at all rotten) as every time I wanted something his reply was always, "Put it on the counter"...and by that he meant the checkout counter.

We watched TV together cuddled in his large recliner, whispering rude and inappropriate comments to each other about those around us which left us both snorting with glee while those "other" eyes rolled. We sang songs at the top of our lungs driving to and from my team practices or on one of our regular adventures. Poppa and Em, Em and Pop; Besties for Life.

Since losing my Poppa, I have lost a large part of myself. I talked with him nearly everyday (as all of my family members did) most often about nothing. We would make jokes back and forth about any and everything, always coming back to the "bits" we had done since I was little. Most conversations left us with a sore tummy from laughing and a big, "I love you" before hanging up. I still often find myself picking up my phone and calling the house, only too quickly realize that he won't be on the other end this time...or the next. 

It is then I set down the phone, look up to the Heavens and just start talking to him like we were back in his car, Black Velvet playing from the stereo (I had always sang that song in preparation for my Star Search audition). "Hey Poppa, you aren't going to believe this..." or "I mean the nerve of that gal, can you even immmaaggiinnneee (heavy on the dramatics)". I tell him the stories of my day, always making sure to embellish the facts, (I mean that is our signature style and the only way a story is worth being told) just as I always had. After I'm done filling him in, I always end by telling him I miss him and love him.

As I continue to live without him on Earth, I know he is always with me. Sharing in my daily shenanigans and smiles. I talk about him a lot with my boys as I don't want them to ever forget the man, the legend...The Poppa. 

While we celebrate the amazing fathers in our lives this weekend, let us all take a moment or two to to wish a very special day to our guardian angels as well. I know my Poppa will enjoy his view from above and I can't wait to share it with him.

Have a wonderful weekend with all those Thriving Daddies!

Strive to thrive,

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