Thanks so much for sharing your story.
The last time I called my poppie (I called him that, as well), he was ninety-two and in the hospital. We all knew he would only live a day or two more. I called him on his hospital phone — this was twenty years ago, long before cell phones were common. “Hello,” he answered, sounding more annoyed than anything else. I immediately burst into tears, managing to get out “Poppie, I’m going to miss you.” Not missing a beat, he replied: “Quit your cryin’. I’ve lived long enough already.” I wasn’t prepared for such a response, and the shock of his statement did have the intended effect of immediately drying my tears.
I don’t remember the rest of the conversation, but I do remember it being rather matter-of-fact, like we were talking about him going on some long overdue vacation. He did die the next day, and if there is magic in the world he’s playing golf every morning somewhere, followed by two martinis in the clubhouse before going home to smoke cigars and watch the fights.