What is there is there to say about a man who taught me 90% of my life lessons? It has been six years since we lost him and every day feels fresh. He was my granfather, friend, teacher and mentor. Without him, I wouldn't know anything about my hertiage, family or myself.
There are just three grandchildren in my family, but it was common knowledge that I was his favorite. Our personalities mirrored each other and as I get older, I'm told how similar we were. Poppo, as we called him, gave me the gift of confidence. He taught me through love that it didn't matter how I looked. He looked pass all of that and saw the person inside of me.
Little things still remind me of him. Smear is a card game my family loves and when I taught it to my husband, I felt my Poppo laughing in the distance. Whenever I have a glass of apple juice, I think of my Poppo and a funny cup he had at his house. Feeding ducks, Barbie & the Rockers, costume jewelery and auctions all give me a slight pull at my mending heart. Nothing will ever ease the pain of losing him, but those small things at least bring a smile to my face.
This April was the hardest time for me since his death. I was married and my Poppo wasn't there to see it. Moments before the ceremony I was crying and wishing he was there. I know he was "looking down on me" through it all, but that didn't help when all I wanted was for him to call me his Lil' Swede.
Poppo remains one of the most important people in my life. His dedication to his family after he realized the mistakes he was making in life is inspriation to me. And his absolute love of me reminds me what unconditional love is suppose to be like. I'll never have a person in my life quite like my Poppo, but I take him with me everyday.