Wednesday, April 4, 2007

William Popkes 1939-2007

My father called me Monday and told me my grandfather had passed away earlier in the day Monday morning at the age of 67. It is sad but he was comfortable, not in any pain and knew that we all loved and cared about him.

My grandfathers life was interesting and took lots of twists and turns. He was always full of wisdom and life lessons, and wouldn't hesitate to teach you if you ask. As long as I had known him, he lead a mostly solitary lifestyle, but we would visit him and welcome him in our homes as often as we could. He was not the type that would run and play with us, but he loved us in his way.

Though it is sad to have him gone, there are a few things that I can take and learn from his story. For many years he battled several health problems including type 2 diabetes and congestive heart failure and we often worried about him. This was mostly due to the fact that he did not take the best care of himself by eating mostly take-out and junk-food and we weren't always sure he had his diabetes under control. He also had a very sedintary lifestyle and got to the point where he could not walk 10 feet without being out of breath. This last year, he would spend 23 hours a day in his recliner, and was in and out of hospitals from getting pneumonia or the flu. His body finally lost the battle and he slowly slipped away from us this past weekend.

What I take from this is how important it is to take care of ourselves and our bodies. It is true, our body is a temple and we need to treat it as such. Since diabetes runs in both sides of my family with very close relatives, I want to work my hardest to stave off diabetes and live until a healthy old age. I already had my warning and if I didn't change things, I would be well on my way . I want to see my future kids grow up, run around with my future grandkids and be fit and healthy all the way through.

My grandfather was loved and will be missed very much. He is no longer struggling to live, no longer in pain and is hopefully in a much better place now. All I hope know is that he know that I love him.

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