Our sons loved my dad. He was their second daddy, their PopPop, as their own daddy travels so much.
What I miss every day about my dad is that he got each of my boys. He knew Parker needed a little bit of assurance and confidence building. He loved seeing Parker excel at reading, Taekwondo and art. Dad completely believed in Ryan's ability to soar beyond expectations. When I would be ready to run screaming from the house, I would call my dad. He would say "Well, of COURSE he reacted ______! Here's how that probably felt to him...." and he would gently tell me how I could better handle my little one, trapped nearly wordless in this world for so long, with respect and consideration for Ryan's many gifts.
Dad was always catching the boys doing something good, long before it was trendy.
Parker is 9 now, and Ryan 8. They were 8 and 7 when Dad died, and got to go to the visitation, the party at my parents' house afterward and the funeral. They wrote letters to PopPop to read at the eulogy. The letters were read by my youngest sister's husband, as we were all too emotional to read them.
Ryan's letter was lovely. He told PopPop how much he was going to miss him and how much he loved him. Ryan mentioned trips that would happen in a few weeks without him and that he felt badly about that. Ryan told my dad that he would love him forever.
Parker's letter made the entire church cry. He said he loved PopPop and would miss him terribly. Then he said that he knew PopPop was not far away as Heaven was in everyone's heart, and that was where PopPop was now. And that was a whole lot of heaven for everyone to love.