"Papa" Nick Hareson
Once again I find myself writing about the loss of a loved one. Today my niece let me know of her grandfathers passing yesterday.
Nick is the wife of Mary Jane and the father of Cindi, Linda and Pam. They called him Papa, I think I remember my niece and nephew calling him Papa Nick as well. Linda was my brothers girlfriend since I was about 2 years old. Needless to say our families spent a lot of time together when I was growing up. Family dinners, holidays, everything. Often times I would stay over at Nick and Mary Jane's house for them to "babysit" me. Nick had a very strong and commanding presence. I'll even admit to being a little scared of Nick at times.. But I was also 4-6 years old.
Nick was born in Greece on the island of Crete, the largest of the Greek islands. I don't remember a whole lot about when, why or how he moved here. But after moving to the US he was a very successful business man in the banking industry, then after he "retired" he became a successful farmer growing pistachios and other fruits and nuts.
His wife Mary Jane would make the best Greek dishes for our family dinners and gatherings.
A couple of things I remember about Nick; when I was young he was always encouraging me to stand up straight, and put my shoulders back. He would pin me against the refrigerator and push my shoulders back.
When I was 17 I went to Greece and visited Nick's homeland of Crete. I was so excited to tell him.
Many years had passed since I had seen Mary Jane and Nick. Im glad that my mom and I both had the chance to see them at my niece's wedding.
Nick celebrated his 95th Birthday earlier this month. What a long glorious life he had!
Recently a friend asked me why so many of the people we are close to are dying. I guess its just the natural progression of life. As we age, so does everyone else. It's hard to say goodbye to friends and family, even people we didn't know but admired. I considered Nick a part of my family.
Αναπαύσου εν ειρήνη.
May He Rest in Peace