When a person lives a life of happiness and joy, reminiscing about that life is even better. My PopPop died in February 1994 of Parkinson’s disease and Pneumonia. I was so young I didn’t quite understand the concept of death yet…I mean I was only 3 ½. Understanding death is a hard thing to do at such a young age, most think that the deceased will come back and that they are just taking a really long nap. That’s what I thought.
When my PopPop started his really long nap, I kept on wondering when he would wake up so we could go play again. You see, when I first moved to Kansas City from Arizona my PopPop was definitely my first play mate. He was just a little kid at heart. He would always be sitting in his chair, at the door of his house or apartment, and I could always count on that gigantic hug I would get the instant I stepped in the room. He was always there and I could count on him.
The first time I walked in to the apartment, after he had died, I didn’t know where he was; he wasn’t in the chair waiting for me. That’s when the meaning of death became a realization to me.
As I have grown, my grandmother has also died, she past in November 2004, the day before her birthday; we decided she didn’t want to be 94. She died of old age and was a very frail and weak lady, and she stopped eating. She died in the hospital one morning.
My Mom and Dad came to pick me up after school one day and I realized something was wrong. They told me she had passed early that morning but now she was in heaven with God. I realized that she was in a better place with my PopPop and they could live eternally together. We went into the church and prayed for them both and at that point in time I realized cherishing a life after it is over is very important.
Every year on Christmas and Easter, or any other time we are around the cemetery, we go visit them and put new flowers on their grave, pray for them, and have a little conversation with them. When my whole family gathers together, I don’t think there is one time that their names are not brought up at least 3 times. They are never forgotten. We cherish their lives and reminisce about them all the time.
I have learned from my experiences with my family that cherishing a life after it is over is one of the most important gifts in life. This I believe.
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