Wednesday, August 14, 2002

Pop Pop Eulogy

My grandfather was both a simple and a complex man- He was simple in that he took people for who they were. He gave of himself and never expected anything in return. He was a complex man in that he was knowledgeable in a variety of areas, had many talents, and had the ability to view life from different perspectives. He was a true Renaissance man.
When looking for someone to deliver his eulogy, we had a very difficult time. Not because there were not willing and capable individuals, but because no one wanted to step up to the challenge of conveying what a special person he was, and doing it as well, and with the same charisma as he would have for any of us.
At this difficult time, we feel our loss even more, because it was in my grandfather's nature to take care of everything. He was the person so many of us would. turn to for comfort, strength, and wisdom. He was a quiet, unassuming hero, always there to pick up the pieces. He was our lifeline.
My grandfather was also very young at heart. What other grandfather would go ice skating with the kids at the age of 67 and continue performing tricks until breaking his wrist? And it's hard to find a man who would ride his bike to Jones Beach alone on his 70 Birthday. He even continued with those long bike rides to the beach up until a week before he was diagnosed in September. And no one could forget his porcupine (which will rest eternally with him). He bought it for himself a few years ago and refused to give it to any of the grandkids because it was "his." We could always find him holding it while sitting on the couch and watching TV.
My grandfather handled his illness with dignity and great strength, which is the way he lived his life. Throughout the many trials of his illness, he never complained, and he expressed more concern for the ones around him, than for himself his own ordeal and suffering. When asked how he endured so much and how he was so brave he replied, "I take one day at a time and don't try to control things that I have no control over." He lived his life in this way, always appreciating the positive, never focusing on the negative. He had a gift for loving each day.
His sense of humor was his greatest asset. When things were at their worst he would make those around him laugh, in order to ease their pain. Following his hip and leg surgery after being wheeled from the recovery room, he said that he overheard his surgeon talking about the barbeque he was having that day and he joked about how he hoped they weren't using his ribs.
His life here on earth was meaningful to those around him, he was a person to be respected and cherished. He was a wonderful husband and father, who cared for my grandmother, my mother and uncle, and everyone who crossed his path. He continuously expressed his appreciation for his family and was concerned about how his illness was affecting them. His main concern was not wanting to "be a burden" on those around him. He was a selfless man who endured his suffering quietly.
With a lot of people we don't realize their good points until they are gone, but with my grandfather, we all knew how special he was all along. Pop Pop - We saw you as a man of principle, who stood up for what you believed in. We saw you as someone who was liked and respected by many people, not only because you were fun to be with, but because you went out of your way to do things for others. We saw you as a man we admired more than words can say. If you weren't my Pop-pop, I'd wish you were.
We know that there is a place inside the heart where love lives always...and nothing beautiful can ever be forgotten. — Be our angel Pop Pop, we will see you soon.

Nicole Grasso (Granddaughter)