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Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Hi Sugarplum!

I'm going to take a break from pretty stuff today, and share a bit of my heart. I've vowed to myself to be more authentic and transparent, even if it's not always the most flattering light. (Like here and here.) Today I'm not thinking about paint, but rather I'm feeling grateful for the good men in my life...my husband, step-dad, uncles, friends.

To say my dad and I have a strained relationship wouldn't be a stretch. Unless you consider a once-a-year text message a strong relationship. My kids don't understand who he is to them, and we haven't seen him in years. I don't harbor much guilt or resentment over it anymore, since I finally realized it's okay to distance yourself from some people...even family. Especially if that relationship threatens your mental and emotional well-being. (Can you tell I'm married to a therapist?)

My dad was fairly absentee when I was growing up, but I had no shortage of love and support from the rest of my family. Especially my grandfather....he just filled all the voids left behind by his son.

Untitled
Poppoo and his Sugarplum

I thought Poppoo was the biggest man on earth, and his booming voice could be heard (to my embarrassment) from across a school's parking lot. He came to every performance, knew all my friends, always regarded me and my opinions with respect, and most importantly...I knew without a shadow of a doubt, that he loved me. He was proud of me. He had time for me.

The older I get, the more I discover just how rare the good men are. The type of kind, caring, gentlemen we pray our daughters find, and our sons become. *gulp* I'm sure we've all had our share of experiences with bad boyfriends/spouses/significant others. I know I did. But I actually don't mind having gone through those times, because it just makes me appreciate the good ones even more.

This month is both Poppoo's birthday, and the anniversary of his death. It's a rough week for me, since four years later I still can't drive past our weekly lunch spot without tearing up. This blog was born from that grief....but what started as a means for distraction, has grown into one of my greatest joys.

I know he would have been my biggest supporter, and first to read each morning. He would have called me with ideas for projects or the next trip I should take, and when I answered the phone, he would have greeted me with a booming, 'Hi, Sugarplum!'

with poppoo
I miss you, Poppoo.

73 comments:

  1. Beautiful post! Sending hugs your way xo seems like he was a pretty great man!

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  2. Love this post. Love it. Thank you for being so honest this morning friend.

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  3. This is a beautiful post. I'm really sorry for your loss - I hope he is resting peacefully.

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  4. This seriously made me tear up. What a sweet Grandpa you had!

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  5. Knowing that your beautiful blog is a tribute to your grandfather, makes me love it even more!

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  6. Such a sweet and authentic sharing of yourself Cassie and a touching testament to the impact love and presence can make. Poppoo sounds wonderful ... how fortunate that he was in your life. My "word" for 2014 is bodhichitta and based on this post I think you totally know what it is, understand and practice it daily ... and through it continue to share your Poppoo with the world. This is a difficult week for me as well and knowing that others too have similar experiences makes me feel connected and comforted. Thanks for sharing.

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  7. Oh my eyes are filled with tears. Here's to all the Poppoo's of the world. My dad died before I was born and there is still a void some 45 years later. I had a Papa Jack, my foster dads ~Norm and Bruce and now Mr. Decor. Awesome men all!

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  8. What a wonderful man! Thank you for sharing your heart.

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  9. I am so sorry for your loss, Cassie. This is a wonderful tribute to your grandfather. I read every post that comes up in my blog roll each morning. I don't always comment, but I do read it. Know you aren't the only one that doesn't have a relationship with their father, or parents and brothers, in my case. I haven't talked to or seen my father in 9 yrs. I haven't talked to or seen my mother in 5. Sometimes, I still wonder if it was the right decision. But then I think about it. My well-being and sanity is worth something. Nobody deserves to be put down and nobody has the right to treat you badly. They just aren't healthy to be around. It's their loss. I don't think I am missing out on much, as there wasn't ever much there to begin with. My grandfather was special too. My favorite thing about him is he loved you unconditionally. He didn't play favorites. Unfortunately, he has been gone 20 yrs this coming May. I am really lucky though. I have a great husband, who loves and accepts me for who I am.

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  10. Wow. Such a beautiful post. Thank you so much for sharing and being so transparent. Not an easy thing. Hugs.

    Amanda
    Plumtickledpink.blogspot.com

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  11. You just made me tear up! I have a Granddaddy that sounds so much like your Poppoo! And, I just lost my Grandma (his wife) last March. They were like my second set of parents growing up, and I still think about her everyday. I'm so sorry for your lost, I know for sure your Poppoo would be your biggest fan! I'm thankful that this blog was created in memory of him, as it is my first morning read! Thank you for sharing your heart! Prayers and Hugs!

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  12. Beautiful. I too have a grandfather filling the father role. Thank God for good men.

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  13. I'm teary too. I remember reading that your blog title came from your grandfather's nickname to you-was the linked picture from your wedding? What a precious picture of the two of you. He would most definitely be proud of you your blog!

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  14. Aww, Cassie this brings me to tears and I can only imagine how much joy you brought to him, as well. It reminds me of my Grandad, he was hilarious and made fast friends wherever he went, I loved him dearly and miss him!

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  15. Beautiful post Cassie. I can relate in a lot of ways. My grandparents raised us for the most part as both my parents worked, and their relationship was not the best (still is not). While my dad and I are close, my relationship with my mother has always been strained. I am the only girl of 4 and the one she feels needs to "fix" everything for her (she suffers from several mental issues). It is sad, but yes, sometimes you have to distance yourself even from loved ones for your own sanity and the health of all your other relationships. It's hard. I especially miss it when I see other mothers and daugthers out enjoying shopping or lunching together. I am glad you had your grandfather's support, and I know how much you miss him. My Granny and Pop have been gone for quite some time now and there isn't a day that goes by that I don't miss them terribly.

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  16. This is why I read you first thing every morning--you're real & kind & don't take for granted certain things in life. What a loving & good man Poppoo was. He set the standard high, that he did. I'm so happy that you had him in your life & I can only imagine how tough this time is every year.

    You know from our "talk" that if there's anyone who understands even a fraction of the strained relationship between you & your dad, it's me!! It's so true that distancing yourself from some people is just better for your soul. And to have someone like Poppoo fill that void, it's a blessing a million times over.

    He would've been so proud of Hi Sugarplum just like he was of Sugarplum herself. Love you to pieces, friend.

    xoxoxoxo
    (My keyboard's a teary mess.)

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  17. So sweet. Thanks for sharing, Cassie. Your grandfather sounds like a great man.

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  18. Tears at school! What a beautiful post, Cassie. You are definitely making him a proud man!

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  19. I love that you shared this today. Thinking of you this week. Such a blessing, as you said, to have had such a wonderful man in your life. . . who continues to be. Ever more impactful and powerful watching over you. So proud of you. Look at all that has be born from the booming, "Hi Sugarplum!" Love you girl. Cheers to Poppoo!

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  20. Aw, now you got me all teary eyed too! Such a beautiful post and I'm so happy that you are keeping it real, it's awesome to learn more about you and the influences in your life. I'm so happy you have so many great memories with your Poppoo and more super awesome men in your life - I'm pretty positive they are super lucky to have you too!

    xoxo

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  21. Such a lovely tribute to an obviously wonderful, impactful man in your life. I'm sure he's proud of his Sugarplum! Hugs to you during this difficult month!

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  22. You were very blessed to have him in your life. What a nice memory you have of him.

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  24. Cassie, I'm a longtime ________ite . . . so I know all your family etc. and yes, you are very blessed! Wonderful people!
    Reading this just made me remember that my daddy and your Poppoo were on the same floor
    in the same hospital that January. I was able to visit some with your aunts and uncles ( my friends ) while we were there. We went home a few days later, but was so sad when I learned that your Poppoo didn't make it. Sadly, my daddy only lived two more months after that himself.

    This post is a wonderful tribute to your grandfather, and wouldn't he be tickled and proud of the "celebrity " you have become! But more than that, how your circumstances in life have only made you a better person, wife and mother. I so enjoy your blog, think you are SO smart and creative, and love saying I kind of " know you " . . . if only vicariously!! Hugs to you!

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  26. Oh my gosh you made me cry! What a sweet relationship you had! Thank you for sharing.

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  27. What a beautiful post Cassie. You are so very lucky to have had such a wonderful relationship with your grandfather. I'm tearing up just writing this as I've lost a few good men in my life as well, one also being my grandfather. We all know Poppoo is so proud of what you've done and accomplished.

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  28. What a wonderful post! I had the same type of relationship with my Grandpa Spiker and his absence now in my life is so hard even after almost 9 years. I am sure Poppoo is reading your posts from Heaven and beaming with pride!!!

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  29. Tears in my eyes as I read your heartfelt post today, Cassie! Thanks so much for sharing that with all of us. And I'm so happy that you had this wonderful man in your life. Sending you hugs from the Midwest!

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  30. Love your transparency, Cassie. :)

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  31. That's so sweet, Cassie...I had no idea the name of your blog was a tribute to your Poppop. Hugs to you during this difficult time.

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  32. Thank you for sharing that small bit of yourself Cassie. It is meaningful to me because I have two children who do not have their biological father in their lives either. They too have wonderful grandparents and a loving step father. Their biological father's parents do everything they can to make up for their son's absence. My daughter is 17 and has come to accept reality, and she has grown to have no place in her life for her father. But my 13 year old son is a different story. He remains heart broken over this, and I pray all of the time that he will find a way to deal with this and move on one day. Maybe it is the fact that he is a boy? Interesting that you are married to a therapist! I am a school counselor. Knowing that you have turned out just fine definitely gives me hope!

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  33. Beautiful post Cassie! It really hit home for me. My Papa sounds a lot like your Poppoo, he was the man that was always on my side. I too have a weird relationship with my dad, and my stepdad isn't the most outwardly loving person in the world. I miss my Papa so much and wish he could have been there on my wedding day. :(

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  34. This post is so sweet! Good men are so rare and I thank my lucky stars daily that I got one of them. Virtual hugs to get you through a rough week!

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  35. I am so sorry for you loss. I love this post, and know the importance of a strong male figure in a girl's life. While I am sorry he is no longer here, I am happy you had him.

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  36. This is a beautiful tribute to a wonderful man!

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  37. Love you Cassie! You are blessed to have such wonderful men in your life & I am sure PooPoo IS beyond proud of his Sugarplum. You are an amazing woman, mother & friend. hugs doll.

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  38. So sweet Cassie! Praying for you this week!

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  39. Very touching and beautiful post. Its great to see another side of you and I find it inspiring that you turned your memories of him into such an incredible creative outlet through your blog. Sending strength your way this week!

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  40. Cassie! I can tell that Poppoo helped make you the amazing person you are today! Even through your blog, your radiance shines bright! Your blog is truly a bright spot in my day1

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  41. Love this, Cassie. He's adorable and that last photo of you two is the sweetest. I do have a good relationship with my dad - one of my grandfathers was actually kind of the jerk - but I still look at my husband sometimes and am awed at what a present and open dad he is. He's pretty good to me too :) xo

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  42. Beautiful words! I'm sure he is so proud of you.

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  43. You are so good with words. He sounds like an amazing man and I am sure he would have been beaming with pride. Much love!

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  44. This is a beautiful post. I'm sure he is looking down on you and smiling every day!!

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  45. A beautifully written post, Cassie. Sending love and hugs your way. xo

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  46. Wonderful... How lucky you are to have had him in your life. xo

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  47. Wonderful... How lucky you are to have had him in your life. xo

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  48. Just read this twice and cried both times. The part that breaks me is that you guys had a weekly lunch spot. That is the best! It is so fun the hear the backstory. I am sure you were his blessing sugarplum!

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  49. Reading your post has brought me to tears. Your feelings for your Poppoo remind me so much of the relationship my daughter had with my father whom she called Baboo. The sixth anniversary of his death is coming up soon. Not a day goes by that I don't think about him at least a dozen times. Grandparents are such an integral part of our lives. Hugs sent to you today!

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  50. What an amazing and powerful post Cassie. Such wonderful way to start my day. Thank you so much for sharing such a personal part of your life with us today. Your grandfather sounds like he was an amazing man and I'm so glad you had him as an example of what greatness truly is. Wishing you a happy heart and a mind filled with fond memories:)

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  51. So sweet. Now I'm drowning in tears. My kids have a relationship like this with my father and I love it. Each time one of my kids have to write a paper on their hero, it has been my dad. He is definitely one of those gentle, kind, selfless souls. My biggest worry is losing him, so I can only imagine your pain. Bigs hugs to you!

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  52. This just gave me goosebumps. Thank you so much for sharing. xoxo

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  53. What a great post and what an awesome man your grandfather was.

    And kudos to you for being so authentic and letting yourself be known. That can be tough, but you're doing the work and I admire your courage.

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  54. Sometimes men don't know how to be good fathers. Only later in life can they become good men. Like you, I had wonderful grandparents. Thank you for this sweet and touching post.

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  55. Just read this and loved it. What a wonderful way to honor your Poppoo.

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  56. What a sweet post, Cassie. While I do love me a good painting post, it's so refreshing when bloggers bare their soul and share stories like this. So inspiring and heart-warming. Your Poppoo would be so proud of you, this blog and your beautiful family! xo

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  57. Somehow you had disappeared from my bloglovin…What the…

    This is the sweetest post. I will never see your blog name without thinking of your sweet grandfather, and I think that's really special.

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  58. Every once in a while, I think of the name of your blog and remember that it was your Poppoo that gave it to you. I'm glad you had him in your life to show you the value of a true man. xo.

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  59. I am soooooo thankful to read your post. First, you caught my attention when talking about your strained relationship with your dad. I struggle with my relationship (or lack there of) with my father and often feel a guilt about my choice to put distance between me and my father. Relieved to hear that your husband approves. You double-hooked me when you mentioned your Grandpa. My Grandpa just passed away on January 2nd. I think maybe my Grandpa tried making up for my Dad's repeated mistakes, but my Grandpa was the only man I've known my entire life who never yelled at me, never let me down, and always had my unconditional trust. Many girls who have janky dads end up in bad relationships or hating men. Thankfully, besides my mom being an exceptional woman, my Grandpa was my proof that good men were out there. I still carry the baggage of not having a father, but funny how God made up for it with an exceptional Grandpa. Thank you for being authentic and sharing your story. I'm glad that I'm not alone.

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  60. I am soooooo thankful to read your post. First, you caught my attention when talking about your strained relationship with your dad. I struggle with my relationship (or lack there of) with my father and often feel a guilt about my choice to put distance between me and my father. Relieved to hear that your husband approves. You double-hooked me when you mentioned your Grandpa. My Grandpa just passed away on January 2nd. I think maybe my Grandpa tried making up for my Dad's repeated mistakes, but my Grandpa was the only man I've known my entire life who never yelled at me, never let me down, and always had my unconditional trust. Many girls who have janky dads end up in bad relationships or hating men. Thankfully, besides my mom being an exceptional woman, my Grandpa was my proof that good men were out there. I still carry the baggage of not having a father, but funny how God made up for it with an exceptional Grandpa. Thank you for being authentic and sharing your story. I'm glad that I'm not alone.

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  61. What a beautiful post sweets! My dad has been gone 10 years, and I still can't let myself think about certain special places we shared, things we had in common… I still miss him like it was yesterday. The fact that you have turned that loss into joy is the most beautiful thing to come out of loss. Embrace it! xoxo, Wendy {Pretty Well Organized}

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  62. I know what you mean about good men. My grandfather sounded very similar to your Poppoo and I think about him often. So glad you opened up and just know I'm thinking of you this week. xoxoxoxox

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  63. Oh sweet baby angel! I just want to give you a big hug :) You are so sweet to share your feeling and what you are going through - my dad wasn't the greatest dad either, and when he and my mom divorced it made living in my house much easier because he moved out. *sigh* soo so glad you had your poppoo to tell you how great you are. I remember way back when I first started reading your blog, i read where you named it after your grandfather and I thought .. how cool is that? much love to you cassie xoxo

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  64. oh cassie I know how you feel. my papa was my daddy the first year of my life. my daddy was working in Saudi Arabia and Papa just stepped in. He was the glue that held our family together. He has been gone 9 yrs 7 months and 19 days. We lived right behind them for several years before he passed away, I was pregnant with my son, he IS a fertility miracle, so I didn't allow myself to really grieve for Papa - I didn't want anything to happen with the my son. He would rub my belly everyday and ask, "How's my boy doing?" Oh how he tried to hold on to see him born but his heart just couldn't. I still haven't been able to visit his grave yet, altho each year it seems to get better. Sometimes my son looks at me or does a mannerism that is just my Papa made over. and I KNOW my deepest wish, for them to know each other, happened in Heaven. ((HUGS))

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  65. What a sweet post -- thanks for sharing. Although I wasn't as close to my grandfather as you were to yours, I miss him so much since he passed last fall. Hugs from Georgia. <3

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  68. You are so lucky to have had popooo. I wish I had a popoo :). I'm so thankful for my husband. He will be that for our kids :)

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  69. i missed this last year, so just reading now and i am tearing up- what a great tribute you are to him.

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  70. I have no idea how I stumbled upon this page, but I am glad I did. I think it was meant for me to see today. As I read through your post, I felt like I was reading a story that someone wrote about me. I have the same relationship with my biological father, which is basically no relationship at all. It pains me, but it has made me who I am today. Thank you for sharing this part of your life with us. I pray I get the nerve to do so too one day. xoxo

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  71. What a wonderful post... thank you for sharing this with your readers. I'm sure your grandfather is so proud of you!

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Your comments are like popcorn with milk duds, I just can't quit them. Thanks for taking the time to share your positive thoughts! xoxo, cass

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