A Daughter Remembers

April 20 was hard for me.

Exactly one year ago, I received the phone call that anyone with a parent in their 80s never wants to get.

My precious papa was gone.

One year later, I still miss him terribly.

He was so sweet and funny and good to me. I would do anything I could for him, and he for me.

We had one of those relationships where you could sit across the table from one another and be completely comfortable not saying anything. We just enjoyed each other’s company.

(blinking back tears)

I am grateful to the Lord that I had so much time with him. 37 years as a matter of fact.

That may sound young to some of you, but you should know he wasn’t really my father.

He was my grandfather.

I’ll save that part of the story for another time, but suffice to say, the two people who loved me more than anything in the world are both gone now. (My mom, my biological grandmother, passed away in 2004).

Oh, how I’d give anything for a hug from my mom and papa right now!

I’d love for them to see how my sons are slowly turning into young men.

I’d love to share a cup of way-too-strong coffee with them (that’s how my papa always made it!) and have them tell me the story of how they met one more time.

And to hear him call me “punkin”. (That’s Southern for “pumpkin’).

But they’re gone.

Even so, I have much to be thankful for.

Both of them asked God to forgive their sins late in life. Both are in heaven now.

Neither one of them are in any pain.

And my mom can finally stop worrying about everything!

I do miss them. My boys miss their papa, too. (They don’t remember my mom because they were only 10 months old when she passed away).

My sweet, sweet husband took the day off of work so he could be there for me.

Wow. I don’t deserve a man like that.

He drove me to the cemetery and offered me his handkerchief – he’s such a gentleman.

I took along one long-stemmed red rose and one long-stemmed yellow rose with me.

I did that because when I was a kid, every once in a while, my papa would come home with a red rose for my mom (which meant love), and a yellow rose for me (which meant friendship).

On April 20, I returned the gesture.

I love you, papa. My dear sweet hillbilly papa. I love you, mom.

Thank you for sacrificing everything to give me a loving home to grow up in.

Thank you, Lord, for this deep ache in my heart because it means I had the gift of loving them so much.

Published in: on April 21, 2011 at 5:30 am  Leave a Comment  
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