So, this may prove to be a difficult post to write. However, I am dedicated to taking you along the ups and the downs of my journey…so here we go. I want to start by apologizing for my absence from this site over the last couple of weeks or so. This post will explain the reason why.
Have you ever had the tremendous honor of having an incredible person in your life who didn’t have to be there because they were family, or pushed on you by someone else? If so, did this person value and accept you for exactly who you are, never seeking to change or modify you in an effort to fill their own needs? Honestly, I hope you have; and if not, I pray that you will because these are the most precious relationships within our human world. Mine came in the form of a man named David Venson, or Pop’s as we knew him. He was the father of my husband and I’s best friend.
Pop’s was a simple man who loved his dog, his family, and his beloved wife Margie. He had been a truck driver for his entire life, and had been living out his golden years in a newly purchased home in my town. Pop’s was even more inclined than I am to avoid social circles, and he never asked for much from anyone. He had a keen sense about people., and he took his time in forming relationships; a valuable lesson I now carry with me.
I met Pop’s during their move to my town 4 years ago. It started out as going by to help our friend get settled in, or visit when he came into town – he is a truck driver too. Then it got to where I was going by to check on Pop’s since he was alone most of the time and did have some health problems that affected his balance and things. Then it got to where my daughter and I were stopping by as much as we could, just because we liked to spend time with him. Pop’s was a clever board game player, and we all loved taking his dog around the yard. Before you knew it, we were spending holidays together and feeling like family.
In November of 2017, Pop’s called me one morning and asked me to stop by to feed Willow, his pup. Of course I did, but this call was unusual. Pop’s never asked for help, a Venson trait, and I knew something was up. After taking care of Willow’s morning routine and spending some time with Pop’s that morning, he finally told me about a health scare he had earlier that morning. He had fallen and it took him a long time to get up. He was feeling really weak and he was not steady on his feet. After a couple of hours of discussion, he finally agreed to go to the ER. The diagnosis wasn’t good, but the prognosis was optimistic. It was pneumonia, but they felt like it was caught early enough and that everything would be okay.
Unfortunately after several months of health issues, some of which were absolutely avoidable, Pop’s passed away. He had gone back into the hospital, with pneumonia, the week that I had the flu. I think it was within two weeks from being released that he passed away.
I didn’t get to see him much that month. Between me being sick, then my daughter coming down with it the week after, and the LONG recovery, we didn’t get over there to see him. I did send him texts while he was in the hospital, but he never answered back. This was normal and a plan we had devised the first time he was admitted. You see, Pop’s had a phone and could read the messages, but he didn’t know how to respond by text so it was more like a one-way communication.
I know he is in a better place, and where he wanted to be – right beside his wife Margie. However, I sure do miss him. Some days just aren’t the same without his loving presence. Holidays will be somewhat bittersweet without his company. And my daughter and I lost an amazing friend, father and grandfather figure. I will always cherish the time we spent together. I can still hear him say, “Love you gal.” My world was a whole lot brighter for knowing him, and my heart is forever more complete because of the time we spent together.
You were one of the greatest men I know, David ‘Pops’ Venson. You will be deeply missed, but never forgotten.
Side note: I chose the picture of the blue jay because I think that was the way Pop’s said his final ‘Goodbye’ to me. I was driving to pick my daughter up from morning dance on Saturday. This beautiful blue jay, which I hardly ever see, flew down in the road in front of my truck to the point where I had to step on the brake. Immediately, I thought of Pop’s. I said to myself that we needed to get by to see him soon. Then I decided I was going to buy him the hummingbird feeder and birdfeeder pole that I had thought about during Christmas. I was going to get it before I went to see him next and I was calculating our budget to decide when that might be. I thought that we could put it outside the dining room window so he could see the birds come to the feeder from the table or the sofa; the places he was most likely to be.
It was early the next morning that his son called to tell me that Pop’s had passed away. He had passed away at home.