I’ve gotten away from such personal posts, but since we use these pages as a kind of ‘family yearbook’, I thought this one needed some attention. We lost my Pap, my Mother’s Dad, this past weekend and writing about such loss is always cathartic for me.
Feel free to read, or maybe just look at the memories captured in photos. We’ll sure miss this man in our family.
February 6, 2016
Dear Cathryn, Anna and William,
Today we lost the patriarch of our family. Your Pappy was great man who was quite a dynamic presence in our family. He loved you all so very much and watching him soften in your presence was beautiful and remarkable to watch.
When I was a kid, I always knew that he loved me. I took great delight in hearing those words, “I love you”, from him in his older years. I have so many memories with Pap, so many moments big and small. I loved riding on the back of his motorcycle with him in Pennsylvania, and especially loved that he never allowed my cousins, Uncle Jake and I, to be in trouble for getting dirty while playing outside at Granny’s house.
Pap was always quick with a joke and liked to laugh. He always told it exactly as it was and was famous for his many one-liners (Pap-isms). At Christmas, he was the best at building anticipation for Christmas Eve and loved to watch as we tore into our gifts. Pap was a generous man. He was always willing to give anyone, anything. You never left Pap’s house without bringing something back home with you. He was a gatherer. Whatever fruit was in season, you can bet that Pap was the first person to pick, buy, gather and distribute to his family.
Looking back now, loud family gatherings and holidays surrounded by Aunts, Uncles and cousins were all possible because of Pap and Gram. I am forever grateful for these joyful childhood memories.
On Thursday, as I sat with Pap and witnessed him in his predeath state and listened to his incoherent talking, I was amazed at where his mind took him. I think we all believe that he was taking a journey through the highlights of his life. I watched him “open” and “drink” a beer (my cousins, Uncle Jake and I used to fight to bring Pap a beer), and watched him “pick” blueberries too (picking blueberries with Pap was his most favorite thing to do with you three. It always involved tons of blueberries, breakfast and a stop for fresh corn on the cob for dinner). These are memories to hold in our hearts forever.
I wonder, if at the end of our lives if we ‘replay’ the highlights, what will they be? I know for me, the three of you and Daddy will be some of mine. But how wondrous to think that my highlights may include grandchildren and great-grandchildren that have yet to step foot on this Earth!
Sweet babies of mine…I want you to never forget that kind words and big hugs are never forgotten. That time spent with family, and your time spent with Pap and Gram was always time well spent. Pap loved us all and you will always carry a piece of him with you in your hearts, and your memories. I will be forever grateful that you got to know the man who will always be my Pappy.