October 17, 2007 Myspace blog post

My Pop Pop

Current mood:nostalgic

Fifteen years ago, on October 17, 1992, my Pop Pop passed away. He was just 61 years old. It has been fifteen years, so I don’t grieve as I did in the beginning and I don’t even think of him every day. But certain days of the year, like today, I just can’t help but think of him. So today, on the anniversary of his death, I thought I would write a bit about my Pop Pop.

John Olson was born in Robinsville NC on December 8, 1930. He was one of 8 children. He only attended school through the eighth grade…after that he was required to work to help support the family. My Pop Pop was a hard worker. He never became rich but he did manage to support his own family.

He married my Grandma, Ethel Myers, in 1950 and they had their first child in 1951. (that child was my father) Over the years they added two girls to their family. I don’t know much about Pop Pop then…stories from my dad here and there. I do know that at age 39 he was diagnosed with diabetes.

I was born in December 1973, so he officially became Pop Pop. I have pictures of me sleeping in his arms while he laid on the couch. I have pictures of him holding me, of him playing with me. I remember spending a lot of time at their house as I grew.

My Pop Pop loved being a grandfather! He loved to spoil us and give us gum and soda, much to mom’s chagrine! lol He also made us work. He used to take us outside to help gather sticks from the yard, to gather nuts, or to rake leaves. If he had no other work for us to do, we had to move his wood pile from one side of the path to the other. I don’t mind admitting that we used to get upset when we had to do that! It made no sense to us! Now we know that he was teaching us to work. He was giving us the skills and know-how to grow up and take care of ourselves. He was instilling a good work ethic, just as he did in my dad and aunts.

I remember that every year on my birthday (Dec 16) my grandparents would take me out of school and take me shopping for my gift from them and then out to lunch. It was special time, just me and them. I don’t believe they ever did that for any of the other grandkids…I was the oldest and I was very close to them. I remember that even toward the end, when he wasn’t feeling well or walking well, we went. He had to sit on the benches in the mall and wait for Grandma and me to finish.

That next month, January, he slipped into a diabetic coma and had to be hospitalized. You see, he had never really taken care of himself even though he had been diagnosed at age 39. They called him non-compliant. So at age 61 he was paying a price for that choice. He eventually got well enough to come home from the hospital and at this point, he finally took his meds and listened to the doctors. By then, though, the damage had been done. He was really sick through 1992, and then in October he died.

It was very difficult to lose this man so early. I was just 18, so my three brothers and 4 cousins were much, much younger! In fact, the youngest of us was David, who was less than 2 when Pop Pop died. And David had spent every day with him, since Grandma babysat him while my aunt worked. He was confused when Pop Pop died and missed him. Sadly, today, he really doesn’t remember him at all…he just knows the stories. He has been told how much Pop Pop loved him.

I miss him. I miss him making breakfast on Saturday mornings after I spent the night. Eggs, sausage, toast and kids coffee. I miss watching Rudolph and Hee-haw with him. I miss talking to him.

I really am glad that he met my husband that summer before he died. Of course, we didn’t yet know that I would marry Russ, but I am glad they met. I did miss him at my wedding! I regret that my kids never had the chance to know him! He would have LOVED being a great-grandfather! He would really have enjoyed my kids!

I know he is in Heaven now, waiting on us. He is no longer sick and he is happy. I can hardly wait until the day I see him there and can introduce him to my kids!

I miss him so much sometimes, even after so long! He was a very special and unique man and I am so blessed that he was a part of my life!

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