Going through old photographs brings out a multitude of emotions and a flood of tears.
Not one day goes by I do no think of pappy and the influence he had on not just my life but so many others. You cannot walk into our home without seeing something pappy has made. His presence is so alive in our home our youngest is constantly wanting to hear stories, and learn about the pappy she never met. When we see cardinals I am always telling her it is a reminder that pappy and granny are always with me.
He had this really unique gift that not many people have which was making everyone of us feel like we were the most important person in the room. I always felt like I was his favorite, and I am sure everyone else would say the same thing.
I had so many conversations with him that I can replay over and over in my head and I am beyond thankful for those memories.
Today as I was trying to sort the boxes full of memories and photographs I came across this poem I wrote in 2009. I remember writing it just like it was yesterday. I was in a very dark place in my life and had it not been for my daughter, I do not think I would be here writing this today. Looking back at this poem and that dark place 13 years ago, Jesus still used my pappy as a way of fixing things. My pappy appeared 3 years later in a dream two nights in a row. It was the same dream with him standing up (he was paralyzed from the waist down) telling me everything was going to be okay. A few days later I was rescued from a horrific domestic violence relationship.
Ironically it has been 13 years since I wrote that poem. (13 is our families number as my pappy’s birthday was on the 13th). It has been 14 years since my pappy left and the empty spot in my heart is just as big as it was that day he went to be with Jesus.
I am fortunate enough that I still get to visit granny and pappy’s house as his best friend bought it. The day before my 50th birthday I went to visit his friend. He always welcomes me with open arms and we always share memories about pappy, and tears too. It is always so hard to leave not knowing if that will be my last visit or not. This year, I captured a sweet picture of us so that I would always have it.
God has a way of keeping those you love and have lost close in your heart. They show up in ways you would not expect. Daily I see our youngest who we adopt and think about how my pappy would roll his chair over to me while I was studying and tell me, “I wish I could help you with your homework. Promise me that you will not become a caseworker, you will either end up with a house full of children or you will end up in jail defending the children.” He knew me best, as even though I did not go into casework, I still ended up with a child in our home. I am sure he often looks down smiling and shaking his head, but I also know he looks down and is proud of how far I have come.
If I could ask him one question today it would be how in the world he made us all feel loved the most and feel like we were his favorite.
Love you pappy, thank you for making me a large part of who I am today.
I Miss You Pappy- March 18th, 2009
They all lied to me because they said each day would get easier to take,
Every day that goes by it seems a little more of my heart breaks.
Looking back at all our memories, you were always there,
Now it gets so hard when it seems no one else cares.
As far back as I can remember I look back and you were always there for me.
You could fix anything from toys, to cars, to broken hearts, whatever the problem might be.
I will never forget all we went through
So many times I hear you say “Don’t be blue.”
I want the hurt to go away,
I want you here back to stay.