Ninety years of living..ninety years of doing... Ninety years of being. When we think about the immensity of experiences he held with him on a timeline like that… I pray we can open our hearts to the beauty in his truth and mend the pain of loss. To think about all that was seen, felt, heard, learned, built, loved, fought for, earned, given, and received... He owned every second that this world could give. May we rejoice in the power of the extraordinary life he led and everything he was while he did it.
My poppy was undoubtedly a family man in every sense of the word. He was protective and proud. He valued the quality of time and connection with all of us, putting the importance of our needs above his own with no expectation of any kind in return. His love was pure and unconditional and he made sure we all knew how much we meant to him. He was smart, witty, and a great communicator. You could sit and talk with him about anything and he’d listen wholeheartedly. He did not waste time in telling you like it is, sharing his wisdom and making you feel gratitude even if it was provoked through that perfect dry humor he had such a knack for. He was a goofball who had this warm and endearing aura about him. And although he was so well-liked and loved by many, his impact did not reign in only those he knew. His wife, children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces, nephews, siblings, and friends were not the only ones who were lucky enough to feel his legacy of character. He was the kind of person that left a mark on strangers. He inadvertently made others take a look at who they are and how they treat those around them. He was effortlessly kind and selfless, making everyone feel valued and loved. A true gentleman and role model. He was hardworking, strong-minded, and brave, always focused on the greater good.. even in times of anguish.
I think one of the greatest ways to make sure that a soul like this continues to live on is not only to never stop loving them but also to understand and recognize how much we can learn, apply and act on his behalf. What would Poppy have done? Who do we want to be in both joyful and difficult circumstances? Be quick to offer help, speak thoughtfully and carefully, engage in empathy, don’t sweat the small stuff, and most importantly always choose kindness. This is how we honor him, this is how we hold him in our hearts because these are the things we remember about each other. Pop watched the world change in color, he fell in love, he laughed, he accomplished, he fought in war, he gave it all he had, he spent his days… and they surely all added up. He really did do it all. I think there is comfort in the fact that if we could talk to him one more time, he’d look at us with his big blue eyes, jolly smile, and with a tender embrace, he’d say. I promise I LIVED. Cheers to your reunion with the love of your life, my beautiful nanny, your son, my adored uncle Terry, and your companion, our sweet Maggie girl. I know you’re watching over us whispering a sly joke with that charming smirk because you know that we will see you again. Until then, rest easy our angel.
Funeral Mass: Thursday, April 21st at 11:15 am at St. Lawrence RC Church 240 W. Main St. Sayville
Interment to follow: at Pinelawn Memorial Park, Pinelawn
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