A Quote and a Tribute

On Friday I found this quote. Loved it, and scheduled to share it with you on the blog on Monday because I had already posted for the day. They say that everything happens for a reason and often times I believe it...


On Saturday morning, my beloved Grandfather "Poppy" passed away suddenly, yet swiftly without much suffering, in his favorite chair. I learned the news while Grace and I were in the checkout line at the grocery store, buying some last minute items for her birthday party later that day. I was shocked and devastated.

Somehow we made it out of the store, spiral ham, 2 Hello Kitty Balloons, Blankie and all. Once I walked through my own door and Grace was with Matt I broke down and cried. Hard. I cried on my bed, my head flooded with happy memories - how he used to pack up the old station wagon and take my sister and I to East Beach before my grandmother retired, how he taught my husband how to install a wood floor, how he used to squeeze and hold my grandmother's hand, and more recently how Grace picked up all of his Poppy'isms like complaining about the snow or searching for candy. I needed that. But there came a point when I had to make a decision. I realized the original purpose of this day was Grace's birthday. So I decided the only answer was to celebrate. I'm not talking about celebrating our loss, but celebrating everything we had and still have, the wonderful memories, the things Poppy built with his bare hands (of which there are many, including the childhood home I grew up in), but above all else we owed Poppy something so precious we were able to find the strength to celebrate and be joyous on this most difficult day. To celebrate his darling great grand-daughter Grace, whom he loved endlessly.



So celebrate we did. When my Mom, Sister, Grandmother (Nannie) and Sister's Boyfriend Michael walked through the front door it was hard. Hard to see my pain mirrored on their faces. But I'm grateful that we had some time before the party started to share this moment together. A little later the rest of my family filed in, and we let them know the news.

Although this family party had a much more somber tone than most, Grace was able to light up the room in that special way that a spunky and sparkly two year old can.

We ate cake, we sang Happy Birthday. Six times because Grace demanded it. 


She made us smile and laugh. 
On that day we all made the decision to survive using courage, humor, and Grace. 


The next day we did it all over again, this time for Grace's party with her little friends at the Providence Children's Museum. Again, it was hard, but our little Grace enjoyed herself immensely and we needed that.

On Sunday night my nerves were frayed and my energy was drained. Grief is heavy. Now that our festivities are over it's time for me to rest, reflect, and start to heal. I'm so lucky to have the strongest, most amazing family I could ever ask for and supportive, caring friends. I know that being strong has its limits. You must remember to be kind to yourself so you can rebuild. You deserve that, my family deserves that.

We will always remember our Poppy for the wonderful man he was. Anyone who knew him knew that he was reserved, but his love ran very deep. For his family, his pets, his passions like gardening, race cars, and woodworking.
In several ways it will be impossible to fill the void. From his many years in Carpentry, Poppy knew how to fix everything. In fact, recently a light bulb was out and needed changing, to which Grace remarked, "It's broken, Poppy can fix it". Even before 2 years old she knew it too.

I could never say thank you enough for the things he gave me, made for me, showed me... but I know he knows how much we all loved him. Rest in Peace Poppy.
Eugene P. Dow
(1928 - 2014)

Top L: Building 1620 Shermantown
Bottom L: Early tool box
Right: Poppy and My Mom



23 and Me