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My grandfather, Vic Flores, passed away today. I can't express how much I already miss him. Fortunately I got to see him right before he died and I was able to tell him I loved him and his last words to me were, "Don't be afraid, go."

His was the first death that I truly experienced. I always expected that in this situation I would be the strong one - I have spent years in social work in the child abuse field and am adept at handling high-stress situations. This week... I melted into a pile of weepy mush.

I nicknamed him 'Papa Chickens' when I was a child. I felt that there should be a way to differentiate between my two grandfathers, so, they got nicknames. I named him for the the chickens he had in his backyard up in Concrete, Washington. I found out a few years ago many time when I came to visit he hadn't been keeping chickens, but would rush out to buy some the day before my arrival so it didn't shatter my childhood vision of him. It worked - the name stuck... and that's what I called him up through his last days.

Mi abuelo es de Costa Rica. He joined the Air Force and toured through Europe, met my grandmother in Scotland where my father was born. They traveled the world and ended up moving back down to Costa Rica. When my father was around my age he came up to Pacific Northwest for work and brought his family with him. I like to think my art is inspired by these worldwide wanderings.

Love you Papa Chickens!
Catru commented on June 26, 2012 1:54pm
♥♥♥ big hug for you. Amazing and lovely story ♥
Ana Cole commented on June 26, 2012 2:07pm
I'm sorry for your loss. xx
Deepti Munshaw commented on June 26, 2012 2:22pm
I am so sorry for your loss. Lots of love & hugs!
Leah Flores commented on June 26, 2012 2:35pm
Thank you guys. I am very sad, but he lived a very full life and had so many people that love him!
Nicklas Gustafsson commented on June 26, 2012 2:51pm
I´m sorry for your loss but glad that you had the chance to say a proper good buy.
Skye Zambrana commented on June 26, 2012 3:14pm
I'm so sorry Leah...big hugs for you hon ♥♥♥♥♥
Catherine Holcombe commented on June 26, 2012 4:28pm
What a beautiful story. I am sorry for your loss but happy for the wonderful memories and heritage he gave you. Thank you for sharing with us. I hope that sharing your grief might lessen it a little for you.
Bruce Stanfield commented on June 26, 2012 4:28pm
Our condolences Leah.
Eric Fan commented on June 26, 2012 5:15pm
So sorry to hear this. My condolences, Leah. Very touching story.
Galaxy Eyes commented on June 26, 2012 8:06pm
I'm so sorry to hear this, Leah. My thoughts are with you and your family.
Thank you for sharing your Papa's beautiful story with us.
Leah Flores commented on June 27, 2012 4:52am
Thank you everyone for the very kind words - I really appreciate it!
Libertad Leal Photography commented on June 27, 2012 8:41am
What a touching story Leah. I loved reading it. I am very sorry for your loss. Big hug.
Leah Flores commented on July 1, 2012 10:10am
Thank you Liberatad Leal :)