Tuesday, October 1, 2013
Memories of Papa
My grandpa died this afternoon. I will miss him greatly. I've been looking at old pictures of him and it's got me remembering the many fun times I spent with him. So I don't forget, I'm writing down some of my memories of my Papa.
He would let us kids do almost anything we wanted to do. He let me drive his truck on the farm roads when I was 6. I steered and he pushed the pedals. That ended with his truck in the ditch full of water. But even then he didn't get mad. I ran all the way back to the house and locked myself in the bedroom. The truck had to sit in the driveway with the doors open for several days to dry out.
After he went squirrel hunting he'd have me hold the tails while he skinned them, then he'd let me keep the tails. My mom made me throw them away when they started to smell, but he and I thought they were cool.
He and Mama used to take me frog gigging on their ditch. I got to take the frogs off the gig and put them in the basket.
He taught me to swim. He would hold the back straps of my swim suit while he told me how to move my arms and legs. Then he would let go while I kept swimming. I always loved to swim.
At Christmas time he would mix up some eggnog with Jack Daniels. I didn't know it had the Jack in it when he would offer me a sip. I'd make a horrible face when I tasted it and he would laugh and ask if I wanted more. I didn't. :)
During the summer when I was little I would ride with him when he checked his fields and turned his irrigation pumps back on. Sometimes he'd see a levee that had a break in it. He would have me sit in the hole while he shoveled dirt around me to fill the hole. Sometimes he'd let me swim in the water after we'd fixed the hole since I was wet and muddy already. He would watch out for snakes while I swam. After a while my mom didn't want to let me go because I always came back dirty.
He made the best fried eggs in bacon grease.
When Mama was in the hospital I would sit with him in the waiting room and we'd talk about what we'd do when she came home. I think we were both unsure if she would come home, but we were planning for that anyway.
Papa smiled a lot and laughed a lot, too.
When you'd say something he'd rather not talk about (like trying to get him to stop smoking) or try to tell him something he didn't want to hear he would just smile and laugh and change the subject rather than argue with you. He would never argue with me or be angry with me about anything.
I'm pretty sure he slipped me extra nickels when we played 31. (card game where you bet with nickels)
Because my grandparents lived so close to us growing up, I always felt like I had 3 sets of adults helping to raise me. I feel like I learned a lot from each of them and hope I've become a better person by incorporating some of their personalities into mine. Each time I lose one of them it's hard, but I know they loved me, and they knew I loved them.
I love you, Papa, and will miss you! I hope you and Mama are having a good reunion in Heaven tonight.