(February 23, 1937 – April 29, 2018)
This certainly wasn’t the next post I wanted to write, but it feels necessary to get my feelings out and help everyone know and meet one of the greatest humans to ever walk this earth. I’ll keep it a little short, only because you could write an entire book about “Bowie.”
If you didn’t know my “Pop-Pop Bowe,” that’s a shame. He had a way of making an impact on everyone’s life instantaneously. Friends of mine that only met him a few times even loved the man.
We are all heartbroken. This was something none of us were expecting, but it was his time. He had fought long and hard and was finally too tired to continue. The man was always a fighter. From his days of boxing in the Army (and kicking a lot of ass from what I was told) to working hard providing for his family of five.
The man is a legend. Some may know him as Bowie, Bug Eyes, Ed, or Jinx, but to me he will always be Pop-Pop… or maybe Jerk-off. Growing up, Pop-Pop and Mom-Mom’s house was like a second home to me. If I wasn’t in daycare, I was at 26 Warren spending my days with them. I sure am going to miss those visits and watching movies. It was simple. As I grew older the visits became talking about life, watching the Phillies, and enjoying a nice Crown Royal on the rocks. Those certainly won’t taste the same anymore, but I will be thinking of him every time I have one in hand.
The birthday calls, or just phone calls in general, will be another simple thing I’ll miss dearly. I think the hardest part was finding some old voicemails I had saved on my phone (part of one you’ll hear at the end of this post). The dude was always busting my balls and I loved going back and forth with him. It was the way we joked with each other and one my favorite parts of our relationship. One of the voicemails I have saved is Pop-Pop busting my balls because I took a pretty good shot to the nuts a couple years ago at hockey. He called to see how I was doing and asked if I bought a jockstrap yet because I couldn’t “have those things hanging loose at hockey.” He was one of a kind. Even up til the end… One of his final days, Mom-Mom was forcing him to eat his jello and drink his Ensure. You could see his eyes roll every time she said “one more bite/sip Bowie.” So as I was leaving that day, I asked if he wanted anything before I left. He said he didn’t, but I took this opportunity to bust his balls. I said, “Oh wait, I know what you need. Let me get you some more Ensure. You need to take a few more sips!” As tired as he was, he immediately started waving his hands and said, “You jerk-off. Get out of here!”
I’m going to miss him at big events too, because he never missed one. My wedding will be a tough one for sure… When I was younger we visited Mom-Mom and Pop-Pop down in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Pop-Pop, my dad, and I went out to lunch at Hooters. My dad and I came up with the genius idea to tell the waitress it was Pop-Pop’s birthday (even though it wasn’t). She went with it and made him stand up in front of the restaurant with balloons in his shirt (to make it look like he had huge boobs) and shake a cup with silverware in it. Drawing everyone in the restaurants attention. Oh man… he secretly loved it, but always told me he would return the favor. He said, “Just wait til your wedding day, I’ll get you back. Don’t you worry. Payback is a bitch.” So I will be waiting to see what he sends down for me that day.
There was nothing he valued more in life than family, friends, and his country. Oh, and dogs. It started with his dog, Sage. That dog was beyond loyal. Pop-Pop had trained him well. He never wanted another dog after Sage because he didn’t think he would get that lucky again. Flash forward a few years to Zoey, my family’s dog. We got her my senior year of high school and she brought that love back to Pop-Pop’s heart.
You could tell he really missed having a dog around. He was as hurt as we all were when Zoey passed away a few years ago. Which makes me really happy that he was able to meet Peanut Butter and Daisy. They are the newest family members. Peanut being mine and Leen’s dog and Daisy being Rebekah and Anthony’s. The joy on his face when we would bring the dogs over for visits is something I will never forget and will see in Peanut every day.
There’s a million stories from his “bad luck,” being a cop, and raising Uncle Les to weekends at the trailer and the cabin. It brings a smile to my face remembering them all. It’s definitely going to be a tough journey without him, but he would want us all to smile. He was the most selfless man I’ve known. Even at the end all he cared about was family. Pop-Pop waited until everyone said their goodbyes before he made his final one. He’s taught me a lot in life and his unconditional love is a big one. Him and Mom-Mom celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary just a couple weeks ago while he was in the hospital. #Goals.
To prove my point that he made an impact on everyone he met, the hospital staff found out it was Mom-Mom & Pop-Pop’s anniversary and got a bunch of flowers and balloons for them. They even let them have whatever they wanted for dinner. Pop-Pop picked a soft pretzel… I wonder where I get my picky eating from!? And lets not forget his love for hats… another trait I will carry on for him.
Well, Pop-Pop… Before I let you have the last word, I think it’s only fitting for me to end this with what you would always tell Leen and I after we visited…
“You made my day… I’m serious.” Because it was truly you, that made ours. See ya on the other side Pop-Pop. You better have Crown waiting!
Services for Bowie will take place:
Saturday – May 12, 2018
St. Mary’s Catholic Church
426 Monmouth Street
Gloucester City, NJ 08030
Visitation from 10AM – 12PM
Mass at 12PM