Every time I want to turn my attention back to my site, something seems to happen.  For months, despite some of the most joyous moments in my life, it seems like the emotions that are holding me hostage most are anger, frustration and great sadness.  So is life, but I have found it quite difficult to maintain my usual quirky, yet dynamic persona so coined “being Classic.”  The past two weeks have been no different, as I suffered a tremendous loss that on July 8, 2010 the world lost Angelo J. Mantegna.  To most he was known as Angelo, Ang or “Lope,” but to me he was “Pop Pop.”  He was my last grandparent alive, and most likely the one I was closest to if I have to be honest.  For me and my family, this was the greatest loss we could suffer as he was a great man, a loving husband, a caring father and a wonderful grandparent.

I am not a selfish person; he was ailing and for the last few months the quality of his life was less than a 100%.  For me to say I wish he was here would only be in true nostalgia.  The truth is…it was time.  No one should want him to stay alive for our own entertainment, especially if he was ill.  He fought hard for years and would do anything for his family.  There are few people on Earth I respected more than him.  He was a tremendous role model for all of us and we certainly can take the knowledge he passed down to us and use it for the rest of own lives. 

The day of the funeral was almost unbearable, but with the support of my cousins and the rest of my family…we were all able to get through it.  The truth is that I have not spent this much time with some members of my family in a number of years.  It was good to just be there with them and catch up.  Once upon a time we at the very least saw one another on a regular basis.  Now I’m lucky I know if some of them are even alive.  Perhaps with Pop Pop’s passing we will all realize how precious life is, and that will make us grow as a family.  Likely?  Not really, but you never know.

With this being my last grandparent’s death, I now have no buffer from the Angel of Death and my parents as the next in line.  I know that is silly, as that is not how death works.  Anyone could go any second, but in a childish, naïve sense…your grandparents are theoretically supposed to pass before your parents, as they are older.  Logic dictates that the older you are the increased chance of dying.  Well, instead of watching my Mom be hysterical in thirty years…I may be the hysterical one.  A gloomy way to look at things, as this is natural and we all eventually go.  My Pop Pop’s passing has conjured up sad thoughts of what the future holds and made me realize that it is important to enjoy every moment not only that I have…but the people around me as well.

Rest in Peace Pop Pop.  From your thoughtful gifts on Halloween to the toast you made to my engagement at your 80th Birthday party, I cannot thank you enough for all you have done for me.  I love you.