Remembering Papou

My grandfather used to be my greatest supporter. He believed in me when no one else would, and encouraged me to always keep writing. He was continually proud of me, no matter what, and kept stressing that I’d be successful one day, even when I thought that would never be possible.

Our family called him Papou, which is the Greek word for grandpa, since he was born and raised in Greece. Papou passed away a year ago, on February 21st, 2009. He was the rock that held our family together, an incredibly kind-hearted and well-respected soul. Everybody who came across him loved to listen to his stories, hear him sing, give a speech, or recite a poem. He had a way with words, and captivated people each time he opened his mouth. He spoke with such fervor and conviction and had a constant thirst for company. I owe my passion for writing to him, and know he will continue to inspire me forever.

Before Papou died, I wrote a poem for him.  Reading the poem now, it pains me to think I felt that way because his memory is strong and I only remember the good times. Even the bad times don’t seem so bad anymore now that he’s not here.  Papou loved to drink and couldn’t get through the day without vodka. After a while, my family started to hide the alcohol from him because it was interfering with his ability to function at such an old age. There seemed to be a void in his life after that, so he started to ‘fix’ the old clock in my parents’ home numerous times throughout the day, never recalling that it had been broken for years and was unfixable.

Today, I remember my grandfather and his constant inspiration, and I wanted to share this poem with my readers. I love you Papou, and I’m thinking of you:

A Poem for Grandpa

My grandfather fixes the clock
(made of oak and ivory)
everyday at noon.

His withered hands
wind down the hours
and the clock chimes
for a moment.

But it stays broken
(like him)
and he doesn’t remember
that he tried to fix it the day before.

As the alcohol and cigarettes
devour his brittle bones
my love for him stands still
(and he fixes the clock again.)

My heart turns to stone
(and I shrivel up inside)
from the torment of seeing
a once brilliant writer
waste away
Into nothing.

The Accidental Blogger

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1 Comment

Filed under Writing on Writing

One response to “Remembering Papou

  1. Marie

    Thank you for sharing. That was touching.

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