The essays in this book come from my blog, Jason Muses, and represent my family's journey with my grandfather, Harold Books, through the final weeks of his life. I called him Pop, as did most everyone else, and he touched countless lives with his generosity, humor and love.
Pop got sick on June 3, 2004, the same day I buried my first child. Throughout his odyssey with various doctors and nurses, in the midst of his seemingly endless number of surgeries and hospital visits, Pop remained a constant for our family. But as his health problems mounted, as he became less and less of himself, we began to slowly come to terms with the fact that he was not going to get better.
We began to accept that Pop, like all men, would die.
It is a difficult truth to accept, especially for a family as resilient as ours. But each of us, in our own ways, in our own time, came to make peace with Pop's declining health, and we learned to make the most of the time we had left.
Of all the lessons Pop taught me, the ones I learned during his final days are some of the most profound. This book is for anyone who has loved and lost someone precious to them. May it remind you of both the power and treasure of memories.
And may it also remind you to live and love as fiercely and freely as you can.