Pop-pop

I have been thinking a lot about my Dad today (we all call him Pop-pop). He has had a challenging weekend, health-wise, with a small flair up of an ongoing health issue. It will all be fine and he will be OK – he has to be! – but I am not sure if I am really ready for that “inevitable life transition” – you know, the one where roles reverse and the child becomes caregiver to the parent. We aren’t there yet – not even close – but I am definitely dreading the day that happens…

My Pop-pop has been the strong silent type his whole life, a provider who loved my Mom and us kids but was always the “giver,” never the receiver. Pop-pop will be 85 this year, still lives independently and is in reasonably good health. But I can see things changing and it makes me, I don’t know, not sad, but uneasy.

My Dad worked a lot when we were young, so he wasn’t around all the time. He was/is a good Dad and, if there is ONE thing I remember, he was/is always humming or singing. Pop-pop has a pretty good voice (my Dad’s whole family is fairly musical) and, for whatever reason, my Dad sang/still sings this song a lot:

I remember Dad humming that song in the dark as he got ready to go to work, while we were all still in bed before school. I remember Dad singing that song as he walked to the car after church, or after a grocery run or as he was mowing the lawn on the weekends. I can hear Pop-pop humming this tune as he brushed his teeth at night before going to bed. I never really got why my Dad likes this song so much but, when I hear it, it makes me smile and think of Pop-pop. I heard him humming it today when I called (he laid the phone down to go get something to read me and I could hear him singing this in the background). This song – and my Pop-pop –  make me feel happy and safe. Sorry, Marty Robbins, but I hope I keep hearing my Dad sing it for a long, long time…

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