This weekend I did a bit of organizing/cleaning my house. The primary goals were: 1.) to clean out the spare bedroom on my second floor which had become a 'dump room' and 2.) to move some bookshelves up to a room on my third floor attic.
I was amazing. No, really, I was.
I have two wooden bookshelves my grandfather made for me when I was younger. Since I've been married they have resided in the spare room. On Saturday, I cleared them completely off and moved their holdings to an empty room on the third floor. I lifted the corner of the smaller of the two bookshelves and decided instantly that there was no way I was moving it on my own.
I forgot to mention that hubby was working this particular Saturday. I did my best to be patient, to wait for him to come home and let me pretend to help him move the shelves.
Regretfully, the truth must be faced.
I require instant gratification. I try my hardest at waiting for things to be accomplished in my hubby's time table, but then my personality overtakes me and I have to make it happen on my own.
So I lugged and balanced and inched the smaller of the two bookshelves up the steps to the third floor. When that fiasco was done, I concluded I would wait for hubby to get home to move the second and larger shelf.
When 4 o'clock (daylights saving time adjusted) arrived and hubby called saying he would be stopping by the gym before coming home, I naturally decided to risk death and attempt to bring the larger bookshelf upstairs.
This is all to say that in moving the bookshelves I made a sentimental discovery.
While flipping the bookshelf over because I couldn't control my curiosity of wanting to see if the original pink paint remained on the underside, I found something extra left by my Pop:
It's funny how small words like "Love, Pop" can take you years away, back to a person taken too soon, surrounded in the memory of love so unconditional.
My Pop's entire world could be summed up into one word: Family. He was rough around the edges to anyone else, but his family was his everything. No matter what, Pop made it a point to be at every one of his grand kid's events, no matter how big or small. No matter how sick he got, he was there. My brothers and I were spoiled, but not rotten, far above what we were due by Pop (and Gram). My favorite example of this occurred each year at our birthday parties. My three brothers and I are all summer babies; Joel and Jon both born in July, Justin in August, and my birthday in September. As is the usual custom, children get gifts on their birthdays. Of course, Pop and Gram gave gifts. But gift giving with Pop was always show. If he wasn't teasing you that he had forgotten about buying Christmas gifts (and heading out the door with Gram in jest), he was making sure to get more than everything you wanted so that he could sit back and smile as you screamed your head off in excitement. For birthdays, he made sure the birthday child was overwhelmed with love by gifts, yet, he'd always pull the other three of us aside and hand us a tiny present of our own.
It's no wonder that today my love language is gift giving.
We were given an outpouring in material things and also that one thing you can't ever hold, can't ever say enough, can't ever get a true glimpse of its abundance: love.
Pop didn't just give hugs, he owned them. He would cling to you as if he would never hold you again, and you knew in his arms that you were truly loved. He held pride in his family, and only on the occasional times when he would volunteer to pray at Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner were we privileged to hear his sincere thanks to God for the one thing that truly mattered: that He had kept him on earth for one more year to enjoy another celebration with his family he loved so dear.
Pop will be gone nine years this May, sometimes it feels like it has been forever, other times I can't believe he is gone. I'm grateful for the tiny reminders of him like notes on my bookshelf and old pictures of him on my fridge. They instill in me the desire to give like him and love as he did.
|My mom, Pop, and me at my high school graduation, 2003.|