On May 22nd, my Buppa passed away. I still tear up at those words. I wrote a speech that I spoke at his funeral, but I've delayed writing this because this needed some time.
Nearly a year ago, Buppa's wife who I call Mamas, passed away. She passed away in their home. Buppa thought she was still sleeping in her chair when my Mom came over to visit. "It happened too fast", I remember Buppa saying while laying in his bed in rehab.
Buppa fractured his hip after falling in his bathroom this past March. This fracture lead to many other complications and eventually, his defeat. I believe Buppa tried his hardest to live a life without Mamas. He would go to the senior center, meet up with a group of local veterans, stay longer at family parties. There was a pep in his step that said, "I'm a bachelor now!"
He tried. Life had other plans. After a few trips to the hospital and endless doctor appointments, he lost touch with those new friends and found new ones in rehab.
Those final days in rehab were something I'll never forget. His sister flew in from Wisconsin, his brother from Florida. They thought they were there for a cheerful get well visit, but instead they were there to see him go. I walked in to his room that Tuesday morning to see him and I knew he was leaving.
My route home took me by his road. I had brought my camera with me with intentions to take photos of him with his brother and sister. As I came upon his road, I knew I had to go to his house and capture these corners that would remind me of him forever. He left for rehab right before St. Patrick's Day, one of his favorite holidays. So perfect. He left it with all his Irish decorations around his home. Below are some that I've chosen to share with you.
The chair where he ate all of his meals. You can't sit there, that's Buppa's chair.
The chair he would nap in. That's Buppa's chair.
The chair he'd read the paper and listen to the birds chirping. That's Buppa's chair.
The chair he'd watch his favorite shows and watch us open presents at Christmas. That's Buppa's chair.
Looking at these photos, I can hear the creak in the floor, the squeak of the door, the smell of his after shave.
Over the past few months, we really dove into his home, Buppa's life. It was emotionally cleansing to throw away much of the clutter and hold onto the things that would always remind me of him. It had to be done, but it also helped us find closure.
His home went on the market today. I took the photos for the listing. As I went around from room to empty room, it came to me that he's not there anymore. It's time for a new, lucky family to lay out their decorations, make new aroma's in the kitchen, host parties, mow the lawn, plant their favorite flowers, and create new projects around the house.
Oh Buppa, I miss you so much!