I don't have the privilege of sharing in wonderful childhood memories of a man who had the highest of work ethics, who worked marvels with God's land, a man who also tended to God's other vineyard, loving and embracing everyone, no matter their walk of life.
I have no memory of a Pop who would take his grandkids on the back of the ute with the dog down to the river, where he would work tirelessly while they were able to explore and play in the river. (Simon's favourite memory)
But I had the privilege of sharing in his twilight years when we moved to Westbury five years ago, seeing him every Sunday and more often when him and Nan moved into Deloraine from the farm.
I have the memory of him standing at the church door every Sunday, greeting everyone as they entered with a quick peck on the cheek and a "how's it going love?" Of popping in to visit them as they sat in their twin blue chairs and sunned themselves out the back in the sunroom, where he would take Simon out to show him the veggie patch. Of him being able to participate in the blessings of each of our children and the kids shly shaking his hand each week.
And of being at the nursing home to say goodbye and walking out of the room, not realising that some minutes later, that is exactly what he would do, slip quietly away. My last tender memory is of walking back in the room, after his passing, and after his dear wife of 66 years, had shared some precious alone time with him and standing quietly with the kids, just our little family, while Simon shared a sweet family prayer for his dear Pop, our Pop.
For that he is my Pop too, a kind of surrogate one for the grandfathers that I had who died when I was a young girl, who as I dwell on the wonderful man of Henry Leo, find that I miss my own two Pops and hope that in time, Harry will introduce himself to them as my 'third Pop' and the wonderful work he did on earth will continue forever and ever.
This one made me smile, Lisa multi-tasking - taking a photo with one hand and making sure Kobe didn't fall down into the hole with the other.
I was going to do a separate post about the family reunion held today but I know it is something Pop would love to see, that after the rain, especially on the land, always comes the rays of sun and that was what today was about, coming together as one big family and enjoying each other's company in the house that was once, Nan and Pop's.
I know he would be happy looking down on his 6 kids, 29 grandkids and 58 great-grandkids and so for that reason, I have made this post, as one.
These guys were the only ones organised enough for a family photo.
Uncle Kim getting in on the water fight.
Jarom on the tractor.