On Saturday, November 2, 2013 we lost my Papa to his almost 10 year battle of cancer. We will miss him greatly. I dedicate the following to Hugh Watt Samson – I hope wherever you may be, you are indulging in your favorite foods and drinks, and waiting to dance with Nanny again. I will miss the fires you make on boxing day brunch. I love you; and as I said, I will see you sooner than later.
At first glance you wouldn’t know to see,
He was a warrior, between you and me.
His eyes were blue with dark lashes that curled,
Staring out at the lake, chopping wood that he hurled
Onto his pile that he saved to make fire.
He kept warm in the cabin he built straight from the ground.
You wouldn’t have known it, or picked him out in a crowd,
But he was a warrior that held an auger in just one hand
As they sped to the ice to drill holes; there was “auger-man.”
Strong like a lion, but silent as the stars that make Orion.
The warrior had a wife that stood by him each day.
They danced, traveled the world; she loved all of his ways.
Aboard the Calypso Dancer, he’d walk to the edge of and swan dive,
Then float on his back for a long while staring up at the sky.
A man of the water, a scuba diver, and a proud father.
The warrior was a grandfather, with granddaughters of two.
They both shared the same eyes of this warrior, Papa Hugh.
As the warrior got older, his heart gave all a fright.
And family feared that he wouldn’t last through the night.
That strong warrior had other plans in mind; and as we all know, he ended up just fine.
The warrior created pieces of art out of wood –
A birdhouse in the trees, and wishing wells stood.
And one day as time continued to move past
A horrible word was reported to the warrior at long last:
“Cancer,” I repent. And off to battle with the beast he went.
But this warrior wouldn’t let Cancer win just like so;
The war went on for nearly a decade you know!
One evening it happened, and the beast took force.
The warrior had to let nature take its course.
We surrounded him that night, and all thought: “You’ve put up one hell of a fight.”
His Mona told him their 62 years were bliss every day
And they’d meet again on Waikiki beach with a drink and sunrays.
And we told him our thoughts and shared with him our love
Knowing that he would hear us from somewhere above.
Of course the warrior kept fighting until his last breath next dawn.
We will miss him each day until we too depart and move on.
Until then we keep his song and life in our hearts; don’t frown.
We must hold a peaceful easy feeling for Papa, the Warrior; you never let us down.
Dedicated with love to my grandfather, Hugh Watt Samson – my warrior.
– Tia D. O’Grady