my pop.

this day, september 13th is the first september 13th in my life i haven't been able to call my pop and sing him happy birthday. as many of you know, he passed away last october. a day does not pass when i dont think of him. i had the honor of speaking at his funeral and since i plan to make this blog into a book one day, i wanted to share my "tribute" to him. i have been contemplating putting this on here for a long time. i guess when you miss someone so much your heart aches.. it takes a while to realize its ok to just sit down and have a good cry.

the first time i met my dear pop i was just a few days old... and while some may think this story is wildly inappropriate, it must be told. pop reached out with loving arms to cradle his first granddaughter. i was sitting in his lap and apparently my diaper had a "malfunction." i filled his entire pocket in his brand new wool pants full of "mess". after a good long clean up of both of us and tears of laughter, from that day forward pop called me "stink." Twenty-seven years later and just about 6 months ago, pop's first GREAT granddaughter, LIV (short for little irene vicars) was born. once again, he held liv in his arms and we all held our breath a bit wondering if it ran in the genes... thankfully, my daughter has a little better manners than i did at her age. Pop looked at her with his adoring blue eyes and said, "you're gonna be a stink, just like your momma."

I know this isn't any news flash, but Richard Vicars was without a doubt one of the kindest, loving, sweetest man of intergrity most of us know. If you don't agree, you didn't know my pop. One of my favorite things about pop is how much he loved our mana. soon after i got married, i taught my new husband how to do the "pop & mana kiss." It goes like this..."peck, blow your lips together, peck." In my mind it was one of those secrets to a happy lasting marriage. He loved his "sugarbabe" with all his heart and and he loved his grandkids like "hogs love sour slop." It wasn't until a trip to the farm how much i realized that my pop really really loved me! hogs go NUTS over sour slop...

I also blame Pop for my love for accessories. I vividly remember him coming home from work everyday with his stainless steel thermos and wearing the most fabulous green and white polka dot hat...between all those suspenders and that hat...he was quite the "accessorizer."

I have to admit Mana did most of the talking, but pop could finish her sentences and when he did talk, people listened. Mostly because when Pop spoke, his words were quite profound. Our family has come up with a list of "POP-ISMS":

some other favorite comments: "

"are you working hard or hardly working?"

"you go to the devil for lying same as you do for stealing"

"you're pretty two ways. you're pretty ugly and pretty apt to stay that way."

to show appreciation: "you're a gentleman and a scholar."

referring to his grandsons: "you'll be lucky to keep him outta the pin."

when a toe was stumped:"if you had your shoes on that wouldn't have happened"
when he was full: "im plum foundered"

when asked if he wanted seconds "im satisfactorially satisfied"
when he's saw you putting on make-up "you gotta have something to work with to start..."
when you told him you were thinking about something: "There you go again working without tools."

to the waitress: "Don't let these clothes fool ya, I got money."
to all his grandkids: "you gotta hard head and a stinkin rump."
everytime he'd leave somewhere: "Glad you got to see me."
when you lost something: when you find it, you'll find it all at once and it will be in the last place you looked."
when it was time for bed: "well im gonna go take out all my body parts."

In the last few months of his life, my brother Eric, went late one night to visit him at the hospital. Pop was unable to speak but could write to communicate. Pop grabbed the whiteboard and wrote one word to Eric. He wrote the word, "STRONG." That word symbolizes so much in Pop's life. He was a strong man. He had strong morals. He had a strong walk with the lord. He had a strong relationship with his loved ones. He fought strong these last 5 months. He wants us all to be strong during this time of mourning.

I always try to lead a good life knowing that God is watching me...but there's just something about the fact that now i know Pop is up there looking down on me, i'm going to be extra good. I will strive to be a better person because i would never want to disappoint him and always make him proud.

We miss him with all our hearts but am so glad he's finally at peace. I know he's up in heaven sipping on peach milkshakes with Jesus. and I know when he got to the pearly gates, God said "good to see you Pop." and he replied, "good to be seen." We love you so much Pop. More than a hog loves sour slop.


Cindy said...

Such a fine tribute to such a fine man. Pop is dearly missed. We are all so blessed to have had him in our lives. I'm so proud that his "strength" and integrity lives on in you and Eric...as I'm sure it will in Liv as well. We'll see him again one day and he'll say, "I'm glad you got to see me."

Brandi said...

I think you have the BIGGEST heart of anyone I have every met in my entire life! So glad that you shared your feelings and your Pop! Big ole crocodile tears! XXOO

The Morgan Family said...

I remember when you wrote that....I'm crying once again. I loved Pop and he is missed dearly. Erin, you are such a wonderful person and you are definitely making him proud. Love you

Courtney said...

that was lovely

Marc, Carlye, Georgia and Sarah Jane said...

Love it.

JudyandRoger said...

Such a lovely tribute erin....you do have a way with words.You were able to describe your Pop just as he was! A wonderful man....
I'm crying as I did when I read it the fist time....
Will you write my eulogy??

love from, auntie julo