To say that we are still in shock from Poppa D's sudden passing is a gross understatement. I can't even begin to express how bitterly unfair it all is and how sad I've been - for the Dotytron, for the Big Yam, and for Momma D, Ehmdo, Nany, the rest of my extended Dotytron family, and finally, for my own loss.
My bio-dad is a diffident robot at the best of times and an outright bastard at the worst of times and it is a testament to what a kind, gentle man that Poppa D was that the love that he engendered in his children, his wife, and his extended network of family and friends could be so uncomplicated and pure. It is the kind of legacy that we can only ever hope for - to be remembered only positively, without asterisks, codas, or qualifiers.
I'm feeling very angry right now. Angry at the injustice of it all. Angry that he would have been such a great, loving, goofy grandfather and that Master T was robbed of the opportunity to learn and grow at his feet, to be exposed to Poppa D's unending love of music specifically and the arts in general. I'm mad that the Big Yam won't ever be able to hear his Poppa play him a song on the mandolin or remember the unending goofy faces that Poppa D could make. I'm especially angry because Poppa D was so excited to be a grandfather and committed himself wholeheartedly to the role. How, even as my own bio-dad willingly estranges himself from me and my life, Poppa D thrilled to every moment. I can still hear the excitement in his voice ("Did you see that?!!!") and how he boasted to anyone in the immediate vicinity when he saw the Boobla crawl over to a chair and pull himself up to standing the first time.
As a product of Westernized-but-still-fairly-Chinese parents, I have never known the depths of parental acceptance and support that Poppa D was capable of. I never heard an unkind or discouraging word. I'm sure that he looked a little askance at the loudmouth brassy girl with a woeful ignorance of the Beatles' catalogue that his son chose for a partner, but I never saw it. He gave his son the best of himself and I will be forever grateful for it.
There are no words to express our collective grief. There are no words to express how the outpouring of support and love from our families and extended family of friends have eased the heaviness of our hearts and provided succor for our pain. This life we eke out for ourselves is filled with moments that will break you a million times over with their beauty and ugliness and it is only through sharing those moments with the relationships that we build, nurture, and sustain that we can bear it.
With a full heart - RIP, Poppa D. Thank you.