I realize not everyone has a great relationship with their grandparents. For them I feel profoundly sorry. I had the best Granny and Pop Pop in the world and they have been a huge part of my life. Granny passed away 5 years ago now, and yesterday Pop Pop joined her. These past years have been tough for him without Granny around, but he has still been present at all of the important holidays and milestones and we have been able to go and visit him many times. The kids adore him. I will always remember when Cameron was little and loved trains just like Pop did. He went and found his old metal train set and got down on the floor to help Cameron set it up. I am thankful that a few years back he accompanied us on our annual beach trip and he was able to sink his feet in the sand like he had been yearning to do. When I was little Pop wouldn't play games with the rest of us, unless it was double solitaire. He taught me how to play and would play with me for hours. I don't remember him ever telling me he was too busy or he had to go do something else. Once I stayed overnight in their house and was found sleepwalking into Pops bedroom. He had not gone to bed yet and watched me climb into his bed and fall right asleep. Instead of waking me he just went and slept on the sofa himself. Mason was born soon after Granny died and Pop Pop was here visiting when I went into the hospital. He was the first visitor and we named him Mason Harding after Pop's last name. He was honored and was one of the first to hold Mason. I think the two of them had a special bond from that day forward. Mason always wanted to tag along on my trips up to see Pop and he had no hesitations of climbing up into his lap and playing cars or asking him to read to him. I hope when he grows up he can remember some of those experiences.
Pop has been in the hospital since before Christmas. He had fallen and broke his back which began a cascade of other problems, as often happens in the elderly. I was so thankful to be able to go up on two occasions, once with just my mom and then this past weekend with the whole family to visit him in the hospital. He perked up and was the same, peppy Pop both times. I honestly thought he was getting better and would be getting out of the hospital soon. I wish I had known to say my goodbyes but what a gift it was for us all to see him once more. I am glad that he is not in pain anymore and that he is with Granny again. These have been some lonely years for him and I know the two of them had a glorious reunion yesterday. I will miss him dearly but I know he is in a better place. Thank you Pop for staying such a constant in my life, you will always live in our hearts.