My eyes popped open as I heard clattering below. Light is coming in through around the curtain as I try my hardest to creep out of the creaky day-bed, the one Rachy and I fight over but somehow I always win- without disturbing my little sister. But four little feet on steep, old hardwood stairs and we’re in the farmhouse kitchen with Poppop.
Nana usually cooks, and she’s flitting around the edges, but pancake breakfasts are Poppop’s show. His deep humming occasionally breaks out in a verse of an old hymn or a witty little joke. He never hides his smile or joy at seeing his family.
Mom and dad are up drinking coffee and reading the paper. I find a seat at the old farmhouse table – trying not to slide off the chair cushion- and break into the adult conversation with my own chatter. I’m always heard and valued and loved.
Poppop finishes his piles of pancakes at the stove which is the center of the room- he likes to be in the center of the fun- and slides the platter onto the table. He tops his cakes with Nana’s homemade applesauce, I have mine on the side while drenching my cakes in syrup. Mom protests the amount but I get away with it with a laugh and a silly story from Poppop.
The days on the farm with Nana and Poppop were filled with laughter and adventure. Being sent to the field for fresh corn for lunch, climbing trees, picking out one pretty rock from the gravel, feeding chickens, basketball in the barn, eating grapes from the arbor in the way too hot hot tub, running with the dog, trying not to fall in the fish pond, trampoline with cousins…
Memories wet my eyes when I think back to the farm and days that ended in stories and a harmonica or piano tune.
My Poppop passed away this morning after a full life with Nana by his side. I rejoice this morning that his pain has ended, he has put on a new body and is tinkering and joking with Jesus right now. I praise God because this separation is temporary and worship Him for blessing me with Poppop’s love.