If you are friends with me on Facebook or in real life, you know that my grandfather passed away last Thursday. While he was older, he certainly wasn't old, sick or frail. It was really quite shocking for me and my family.
I'm actually writing this while on the plane back to Pittsburgh for his funeral. And I have some time to reflect- on his life and my life.
Poppy wasn't a super emotional, or touchy-feely man. He worked in manufacturing his whole life. He did some hunting and fishing. He loved football and beer. He was a man, for sure.
But he was always THERE. My sister and I were discussing our memories of our grandfather. While we don't have any specific memories of things we did with him, we remember him always being there. Our sports games, music concerts, dance recitals, graduations, Poppy was there. There was never a doubt in our minds that he was proud of us, that he supported us, that he wanted to be a presence in our lives.
As I think about this, I realize I'm guilty of not always being there. Or, being physically there, but not emotionally. I can get so caught up in my own issues and career, that I miss life. Those important moments. I've had many holidays away from my family. I've been home for a visit, and wished I was back in my own home.
Going forward, I'm going to be better at being there. At getting home, and staying present. At visiting and calling the people that I love. I wish it hadn't taken such a hard lesson to drive it home. But, I've learned it.
Poppy taught me the lesson of showing up, of being there. Of reminding the people you love that you love them- by investing your time and presence in them, not just saying it.
LIfe is unexpected and fragile. So hold your people close and tell them, AND SHOW them, that you love them. Do the things that bring you joy, with the people that bring you joy. This is a beautiful life.