Tuesday, October 1, 2013

I'm a Survivor

So few people in our lives do we have that will just love us unconditionally. I have/had plenty in my life so I am not complaining here but it's just such a glorious feeling that we could all use more and more of those people in our lives. So, Pappy, James D. Wood, was one of those people in my life. Today marks the third anniversary of his death. I truly believe that to this day I, never had time to fully recover from his death as two months afterwards Matt's second brain tumor was found.

For some reason as I started anew out here, I couldn't help but wonder, what would Pappy say? Now, Pappy was a man that believed in hard work, getting up early, and never overpaying when there was a deal to be found. From an early age, he instilled a strong work ethic in me and I can still remember him driving me to my first job interview at his favorite pizza place. He was very proud when I got the job and also enjoyed the discount on pizza. He found the right combination of spoiling me rotten but pushing me because he knew I was capable. When I decided to move to Chicago he told me, "I am so happy for you but I wish it was here." He of course would have loved for me to be in town but knew that I needed something bigger. He even drove the Uhaul through the South Side of Chicago for me. He loved visiting me in the city, Pappy was a city guy growing up in Brooklyn. Nanny and Pappy made the trip to Chicago once after Matt and I were married and we enjoyed the architectural tour on Lake Michigan. I discussed with Nanny the other day what he would have thought. She said he would have been proud, he always was.

In Late Spring of 2010, we got the awful news that Pappy had cancer. He felt fine but cancer had essentially taken over his whole body with no signs until a scan revealed the truth. A mere three months later, my beloved grandfather was unrecognizable. After his diagnosis, I tried to make it home as much as possible given the five hour drive. Pappy, after learning his fate and knowing what would happen quickly, resolved to tell all his family members how much they meant to him. We were sitting in lawn chairs in the backyard the sun in our eyes when he said his peace to me. He gave me a Survivor bracelet he had made with the Cancer Support group at his hospital. He told me I was the Survivor, that Matt and him would live out their destiny and I would be the Survivor. I knew this to be true but simply couldn't face that fact at the time. Although those were words of terror at the time, his words soothe me to this day. I know him and Matt are with me watching over their Survivor.

Pappy and I in Put-In-Bay 2006 before things got rowdy!



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