Today I breathed deeply and read the following:
“They say sometimes when you know it’s coming, bad news is easier to hear and to process. They are wrong.
My grandfather was John Robert Koestel, Bob to most, although to us grandkids he was always Pops. He was born in 1920, served in the Army (received 3 bronze stars) during WW II, lived in the Philadelphia area his entire life. He was married 69 happy years to my grandmother Catherine. He had one son, three grandchildren and two great grandchildren. While all of these things ar true, they are not the heart of who he was.
When I think about my Pops so many things come to mind. I remember Saturdays at my grandparents house. It was always loud, fun and full of laughs…a weekly family reunion of sorts. There was always card playing out on the porch. That was loud and full of cigar smoke…and us kids running through messing up bets and tryihg to steal some change. Yet Pops never told us to leave or that we couldn’t play…he knew we’d soon get bored and move on, probably outside to play in the field or our amazing playhouse that he built for us.
Pops was an amazing self-taught carpenter. He was happiest working with his hands. He built a full scale playhouse where we spent hours playing and many nights sleeping. He built bookshelves, desks, paper plate holders, toy boxes and the list goes on includingn a very large very detailed victorian dollhouse. It’s almost bigger than me but even the smallest detail was not overlooked by Pops.
He loved building things but he also loved kidding around, making us all laugh. When I travelled to San Francisco with MomMom and Pops he sang to me up and down Fishermans Wharf. Partly because he was always singing but mostly I think because at the time it embarassed me (a lot!) so it was very funny for him.
That same trip I got us totally and completely lost at the very end of the trolley line. We had to take a taxi back to our hotel and not once did Pops make me feel badly about it. He teased me for the rest of the trip and for a few years after that but not once did he yell or get upset with me. We just got back to the hotel a different way. That’s the kind of grandfather that he was.
Pops was a good and loving man. He was steady – quick to offer help and keep you on task to get the job done. He hated waiting in lines and he loved desserts especially chocolate cake. Even this past year when meal times were a challenge he would always eat cake, cookies or chocolate covered graham crackers. My children loved bringing treats for him because they knew he would share with them too!
I’m so thank*full for the many years of memories that I have with my Pops.. I’m thank*full too that my children had the opportunity to create special memories with him too.
This past year has been difficult, watching Pops lose touch a little bit every day. On good days there were laughs to be had. On bad days just sadness at what was being lost.
His confusion and pain has ended and I’m thank*full for that although I will miss him dearly. I know I will be okay…we will all be okay. We will have more laughs and more tears and more memories created with those we love. Pops may not be here but he’ll always be with us. He has touched all of our lives and each of us have memories that will keep his spirit close, especially when there is dessert to be had.” ❤
****thank you J for your encouragement and your humor….without you there today I wouldn’t have had the courage or strength to get through. ❤