We spent an enjoyable Christmas week with Jon's grandfather Poppa. On Wednesday Ben and I joined him with Grandma at his retirement home where a popular children's performer put on a show for the neighbouring day cares and residents. He must have been able to spot Poppa's secret moves through the crowd when he was selected to come up and shake maracas and his booty with a grass skirt on to one of the songs. Fortunately we got video evidence of this rare occasion! A few days later he shared an enjoyable Christmas with Jon's family and we were happy to drive him home afterwards. He was tired after a big week but happy and chatty. I thought as we dropped him off that this must have been a hard year for him, the first Christmas since losing Granny. Boxing day of last year was the last time she went into the hospital and we hoped he would have happy memories of this Christmas to get him through the day. They weren't needed.
He joined her the next evening.
Poppa, as he was known to us, Cliff to everyone else was, as the Pastor noted in his funeral today, special to so many people. He had a quiet softness about him; a gentle presence that will be strongly missed.
When we were going to explain to Ben in two year old terms where Poppa was now I began by asking him "Do you know where Poppa is?"
"Oh yes" he said without missing a beat.
"With Granny in the hot air balloon!"
Out of the mouths of babes...
We left it at that.