Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Papa

10 years can go by in a blink. I just have to look at my oldest girl and realize how fast time can fly.

10 years can seem like a life time ago. I look at my grandmother and see just how true that can be.

10 years ago today my Papa died.

I can not explain it, but the last few months I have really missed him. I have become more aware of the subtle impact he had on me growing up.

I always wanted to make him proud.

I miss that he is not here to see my daughters.

I miss that he is not here to see Ralph and I building our house.

Mostly I just miss the quiet, strong man that he was.

I always wanted to be the one who made him laugh, because he did not do much of that. He was always so tired from working long hours at the asphalt company. Yet, he never complained. I always thought I had accomplished something major if I ever got him to crack a smile or laugh.

The other thing I never saw him do was cry. Thru health issues, death of family members, I never saw him cry.

Until.

Until my firstborn died, at birth.

I saw my papa's heart break for me.

Maybe it was because he knew the heartache of burying a child. He knew the pain, and he could not change it or protect me from it. Papa was always the protector.

After Ralph, Jr.'s death, Papa became more softer, more emotional and a little more quicker to let me hug him.

I will never forget when I told when I was pregnant with Madison, and that everything looked ok on the ultrasound, the smile on his face. His words of hoping that everything would be ok when she was born.

She was ok.

Two weekends after she was born Mom and Dad brought Grandma to see us. We were living in Gainesville at the time. Papa chose not to come, because we were going to be visiting the next weekend, and he had had knee replacement surgery and just could not ride for very long any more.

He never got to meet her.

On Thursday, he was gone.

A heavy machinery accident.

I still remember what I was doing the exact moment I got the call. Those are moments you just don't forget.

But it's moments like this one that I choose to remember about Papa


Fishing on the big river with him, mom, dad & I.

Look at his grin.

I miss you Papa.