"I, Vickie Pope, was born in Winter Haven, Fla., and grew up as a military "brat," following my family throughout the U.S. and various countries.
I am preceded in death by my beloved mother, Virginia Louise Overton DePoorter. I am survived by my loving, patient (very Patient) husband, James Gregory (Greg) Pope. I leave behind others who are precious to me; my sweet and supportive father, Win DePoorter, who hardly let a moment pass that he didn't try to convince me to quit smoking; Janice my dear, beautiful stepmother, who has shown unconditional love for me right to the miserable end; my three sons, Jason Munsch, Jeffrey Pope and Jonathan Pope, all of whom I love dearly; and of course, the sunshine of my life, my granddaughter, Falisha, who "pinky-swear" promises that she will never smoke a single cigarette; and not to be forgotten, my best friend throughout our lives, my brother, Michael DePoorter, who has always been there for me.
I want to thank my sweet and supportive in-laws, Jim and Frances Pope, Daphne Pope and her son, Dane. Thanks to my dearest friend, Beth Ann, who kept my spirits up and my house neat. You are the greatest. Thanks to my fourth-floor buddies at FWBMC for making me feel so safe at my second home. Drs. Harvey, Henry and Chang, thank you for your never ending patience with me as I questioned everything. In these final days, Covenant Hospice has made me as comfortable as possible. As I dictate this today, I am dying a senseless and painful death of lung cancer at a far too-young age. I never thought middle age could be 27. I will never be able to watch Falisha grow up or attend her wedding. I will never be able to go on a cruise. So many "nevers."
Everyone always says that I do things "my way," so, I've written my own obituary in hopes of reaching at least one person to say that cigarettes are not worth the pain you put your family through or the horrendous pain you put your body through. The last couple of years were spent having weekly treatments and painful procedures. Instead of my last days being peaceful, they are spent gasping for breath, like a fish out of water. There is nothing brave or courageous about my death. It's scary and a waste. Ask yourself when you light that next cigarette, is it worth it?"
Graveside services will be held at 10 a.m. Friday, May 20, at Heritage Gardens Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the Lung Cancer Research Foundation, 845 Third Ave., 6th Floor, New York, NY 10022.
You may go online to offer condolences to the family and sign the guestbook at www.heritagegardensfuneralhome.com. Heritage Gardens Funeral Home of Niceville is entrusted with the arrangements.
Published in Northwest Florida Daily News on May 19, 2011