Monday, September 15, 2008

Remembering a Father

Robert D. Cook "Pops"

One of the greatest fathers I have ever known. (I know many)

Sept. 16, 2002 - One of the saddest days of our lives.

When I first started dating Shawn, his family was so welcoming. His dad picked on me A LOT. It's very easy to do if you know me :)

Shawn said that his dad always picked on people he liked so I knew that he Loved me. He was a very good family man. Worked a lot when his kids were younger, but still took the time to go on vacations, field trips, ect... And he was a GREAT Pa Paw. His grandkids were everything to him. He always had a way of pointing his finger that showed how he wanted things done. And he was talented. So talented. He loved gardening, photography, woodworking. He knew how to get in there and fix things himself.

Memories that I miss:

1. Camping. Pops and Sue would load up their camper and go camping. Our family, Charity and her family would all tag along. The grandkids riding their bikes. Making hobo pies. Even family and friends would come up and visit.

2. Going to show my family 3 wedding dresses that I liked sooo much and couldn't figure out which one I wanted. Bob went and picked one off the rack and I remember thinking, "What is he doing? I already have the ones that I liked." I pampered him anyways and tried it on. It was my perfect dress! How did he know?!

3. Going up the hospital daily and visiting him during my lunch. After once occasion my hiccups were gone and I said, "Yeah, my hiccups are gone. Knock on wood." He asked me to come closer and knocked on my head. Gotta love his humor.

4. It took Shawn over a year to convince me that a jackalope was real. (No, I didn't believe him at first). So at a Labor Day dinner, I made a comment about how they were real and when Pops said they weren't, I told him "Yes they are. We have one hanging on our wall." I don't think I have ever seen anyone laugh at me so hard before. I am suprised he didn't pee his pants.

5. Or when their camper had central vaccuuming. I am really blonde. My kids watch Disney. There is this movie called the Smart House where all the garbage sucks into the carpet and it cleans the house really fast. For it being an older model camper, I was surprised that it had this awesome function. Bob went right along with it when I told him how cool it was that their camper had this ability. Stop Laughing!

My time with him was shorter than some people were fortunate to have but it was just as important. I remember sitting next to him on the couch and just giving him big hugs. And then I think about my Meagan being born on his birthday by 1 minute. Hence, her middle name Faith. I think about him playing Patti Cake with her all the time and the last time she was in the hospital with him, he sang and played that with her, while I stood behind Uncle Mike with silent tears coming down my face. Him asking if she could walk yet. Stubborn stinker walked two weeks after he passed.

I think of Katelyn, Joseph, and Jake who had a little more time with him but were still very young. Will they remember what a great Pa Paw he was? Will they remember him building them a playhouse and not quite having it finished before he went to be with God? We will never let them forget.

His last morning, this great man was surrounded by a room FULL of family that loved him. His last breath was when his wife, son, and daughter were leaned over him telling how much they loved him. God's Grace.

Here is a poem I read at his funeral that I wrote:

What is a Father?

What is a Father?

It's more than a word.

The meaning is felt,

more than it is heard.

It's watching your kids grow

and play in the sand.

Wanting to always help them

and give them a hand.

It's walking your daughter down the aisle

on her wedding day.

Watching your son run

another football play.

A good father is someone

who will always be there,

always watching over us

letting us know he cares.

As time passes, you children

have kids of their own.

Then it's your grandchildren you adore

and always want to hold.

And whether their names were

Katelyn, Joseph, Meagan, or Jake,

it was laughter they would bring to you

and smiles they would make.

Please don't be afraid to look down upon us

and let us know you're there.

Whether it be by the sound of silence

or the wind blowing in our hair.

You always showed compassion.

Not only to your family, but friends.

Our love for you will always be strong.

We will never let it end.

As you look down from above

and watch over your loved ones,

please know we will always love you as

a great father, papaw, and husband.

Missing you dearly and forever in our hearts. Always with love,

Shawn, Jammie, Katelyn, and Meagan


jennie said...

Thank you for sharing, Jammie. Brought tears to my eyes. So beautifully written.

Renee Weikle said...

Wow Jammie, that was amazing. Brought tears to my eyes. That poem was well written. Thinking of you all!