My Pop Pop John, The Best Guy In the World

by Matthew Gallagher
(Buckingham, PA)

I am 14 years old and on May 20, 2013 I lost one of the best people in my life. My Grandfather. I called him Pop Pop John. My Grandfather smoked for 50 years. he was diagnosed with emphysema in 1990. he had my mom when he was 40 years old. My Pop Pop was a great man. he always had a smile on his face. he was never strict or even mad at me. Pop pop did very well with his emphysema. When I was little I always would go over their house and have fun. My pop pop and Nana were the best people I knew. Nana Lucy would get a bit overbearing at times, but I loved her too. Then, earlier this year my pop pop had many consecutive colds. he usually made it through these after a couple weeks, then in early may, he got a bad cold. This wasn't an ordinary cold.he was in bad shape. Coughing and spitting all the time.Then on may 18, 2013. My mom was in the phone with my nana saying how my pop pop was very sick and this cold was so bad he probably should go to the hospital and get lung medication. I was scared. We went over their house... My mom was talking to my pop pop for a while. Then she started begging him to go to the hospital. he kept saying he didn't need to even though he did. He was too tired. I even walked into the room and asked my pop pop to please listen to them. I think after realizing how upset this was making me, he decided to go to the hospital.
My nana was scared. I was actually kind of glad he was going, because in my mind, he would get medication for his lungs and be okay. The last time I ever saw him, was when he waved goodbye to me in the car before he left. he was smiling. I don't think he was afraid. I was scared, but still happy he was going to the hospital. Then the next day was okay. My nana was nervous and I couldn't figure out why. I later figured out it was because their was a slight chance he might have to go on a ventilator, and he might never come off if he does. this Really upset me. I cried a few times that night. the next day I went to school, came home, and found out he was ON a ventilator. I was scared. As I shopped with my mom on the way home, I said to her that maybe the ventilator will help him get his breathing back on track and be Able to come off it soon. My mother smiled, then gave me a worried look. Then she said that she wants me to pray for pop pop. This scared me, but I did. I was home, getting dressed when suddenly my mom was on the phone and my grandmother was listening to. She yelled at me and my sister to come down. She said my pop pop was coded and that he might not make it. My mom, dad, and nana rushed to the hospital. While I sat and cried all day. later my sister got on the phone and I was scared half to death. She handed it to me. I was terrified and in tears. I blurted out WHAT'S HAPPENING!? She said, Sweetie, Pop Pop Is gone... I burst into tears. Pop pops funerals was that weekend. It was very sad, I cried the whole time. I finally realized after pop died how many people loved and cared for him. I finally realized how much of a great and unique man he was. like my aunt said after he died. they don't make men like they used to. he was born October 5, 1923. He was going to be 90 in October. He is lucky to have made it that long with emphysema, But it wasn't his time. I know it wasn't. Too many people depended on pop pop. My Nana needed someone to take care of her. And I needed my pop pop. He was so lively, it wasn't his time. I still cry constantly. the night he died, when I was crying. My nana came up to me and said "you made him so happy" This made me cry even more. My nana is moving into an apartment at the end of the month. We've been taking care of her since then. My Pop Pop was the best guy in the world. And I don't think anything will ever be the same without him...

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