Today was a beautiful day. The sun was brilliantly shining, the birds were joyfully chirping and there were loved ones everywhere. The Sunday sky was every bit as blue as Popeye’s eyes and after two long days, he opened them briefly this afternoon.
He gazed upon the faces of his granddaughters, his sister, and his wife of nearly 50 years. His labored breathing slowed and his twitches suddenly calmed, and then there was peace. Sweet, silent peace.
I watched from the fireplace hearth and I talked to him. I don’t know if he could hear me, but I sincerely hope he did. I told him that I loved him. I told him we all did, but I know he already knew that. I told him it was okay to go. I told him I’d take care of his son and his granddaughters. I told him I’d take his wife to the beach for a much-earned respite after all she’s been through. Most of all I told him to please oh please quit fighting. Stop. It’s enough. It’s all going to be okay.
I told him there was another tough crusty U.S. Marine on the other side, just waiting to show him around.
Well, maybe that’s something I told myself.
As ten year old Lily said, “It’s better for Popeye, but it’s worse for us”.
Rest in Peace, Poppy. You’ve earned it.