This morning.. Poppy passed away in his sleep. He was my favorite person ever, I love him so much and I miss him already. While I visited him last month, I took a ton of photos which are some of the best I have ever taken. I’m glad I was able to see him one last time and capture his personality through my camera. I hope you enjoy these photos of Poppy because I sure do. Ever since I’ve known Poppy, he’s always lived on Famoso, in Sahuarita, Arizona. That’s the spot! If I played baseball, I’d visit him and we’d hang out. Eat some popsicles and watch some movies!
This recent trip was different though… He wasn’t doing so well and I knew that prior to my visit. I knew it was going to be rough and I would have to help him with just about everything. He had to do breathalyzer treatments and he had a lot of medicine I had no idea about. All I knew was that he was in a lot of pain. We asked him “What can we do for ya, Pop?” And he would say jokingly-partially-seriously “Give me a gun so I can shoot myself.” We laughed but knew that he was in that mindset. He didn’t like to suffer and he missed the love of his life dearly, Eveline. No matter what, he always keeps his ring on. It’s the cutest thing. And now that he has passed away…I know he is in a big field with Eveline, holding her hand and having the best time ever. He just wanted to be with her.
As you can see in the photo above with him in his wheel chair and his hand on his head…He was in pain. Even though he was taking medicine to ease the pain…He was hurt. I felt so bad because I can only do so much, you know what I mean? I helped him in every way I could and he appreciated it so much. What’s funny about this photo is that after this shot he said “You’re starting to be a real pain in my ass Connor!”
He had a sense of humor that really shined through. Every time we chatted about something, he had to make a joke about something! He liked my hair and my glasses, or maybe he was joking? I’ll never know :) Check it above, he made me do a model release! What a sexy guy.
Another funny thing that we did was we took some ‘family photos’ in his living room. Whenever he sits in his favorite chair, he usually falls asleep. And special times, he’ll put his hands up like in the photo above. I thought it would be funny to take a photo with him like I’m controlling him like a marionette. He saw the photo and started laughing too!
Though this is hard on our family… I can’t imagine how my mom feels. :( She leaves in the morning to go to Arizona. I recorded her and poppy having a really great conversation and I’m so glad I did.
I’m so glad that I am a photographer. I am glad that I am so experienced now and have the skills and knowledge to capture these moments with my Poppy right before he passed. I’m glad that I can share these moments with everyone and show how amazing he was. I brought two strobes with me on this trip and they came in handy so much… One light strobist photos add a lot of emotion to the photos and that’s exactly what was happening. So much emotion…and I captured it. Even though he was in a lot of pain and was struggling constantly throughout his days….He always seemed to crack a smile or laugh at some point. Which is amazing, to be able to overcome all of that hardship and be able to make something positive out of it. What a great guy. Before he went to bed, he always had to clean himself up. He would do his hair, take a bath (or a sponge bath), brush his teeth and do a bunch of other little rituals before I helped him into his bed. Like a bug in a rug. There have been a few photos already with a similar pose but I didn’t pose him at all.. This is how he was sitting. I feel like in these photos, he is fed up with all the crap that is going on and he’s just extremely frustrated.
I love you Poppy and I miss you so much… I know you’re in a better place now and you have no more pain to deal with. You are looking down over me and smiling, while holding Evelines hand as well.
Thank you so much for being the best man I have ever met. You are so genuine and so kind and so honest and so amazing. I couldn’t have asked for a better grandpa and father to my Mom. I love you so much. I know you’re going to ride into the sunset on your horse and Eveline like we watched in those Western movies! Because, you know….You do love those Westerns! And movies, you definitely love your movies as well haha.
Poppy, whenever I helped you into bed. You looked so ridiculously cute. Cutest poppy EVER. Whenever I’d tuck you in. You’d say “Like a bug in a rug.” with a huge smile stretching across your face. You would look forward to this time EVERY DAY! As soon as you would wake up in the morning and get out of bed…The thing you were looking forward to the most was getting back into bed. To hear from my mom that you passed away while you were sleeping…I know you were happy to be snuggled up in bed and comfortable. I know you were having a good sleep and I know you lived an amazing life. You deserve the best, Pop. I love you so much and I can’t wait to meet you in heaven when it’s my time, a while from now. Keep watching over me Poppy.. Because like you told me, I will always remember what you last told me on the phone: “Be the best that you can be.” I will do exactly that and I can’t wait to live my life to the fullest.
I love you so much Poppy and I miss you already.