Thursday, January 15, 2009

My Pappap

My grandfather, my Pappap W, died early yesterday morning. He was 91 and had a great life. His wife of 64 years is still alive. My Aunt lives with them, and so they've been able to stay in the house they had built back when my mom was about 8 years old. The community now is thriving with young families and big box stores have popped up everywhere. But they moved there when it was primarily a farming community.

I've never lost a grandparent before. I know I'm lucky, that at 28, my first grandparent only just passed. But I can't help thinking of all of the things I put off that he won't get to witness. He won't be there when I walk down the aisle. Heck, if I get married, my future husband won't even get to meet him. If I have kids, they'll never know their great-grandfather.

My Pappap always had a military haircut, and I always loved to pet his hair. He'd always yelp and say, "Hey! You're messing up my hair! I worked hours to get it it like that!" He told silly jokes and took naps in the chair in their living room. He was always cold and wearing cardigans, even in the summer.

When I was little, my sister and I would spend a week with my grandparents. We would go to McDonald's, create a restaurant in their kitchen, and make "Ladies" and "Mens" signs for their bathrooms. My Pappap never minded forking over ten cents for the sandwich he made himself. When we went to the North Park pool, he never went in the water, just sat next to the pool in a lawn chair, growing ever darker, and telling us he'd get in when the water wasn't wet. We always giggled and tried to explain that was impossible, but he never budged.

Pappap loved coffee and hot tea. He loved to eat raw onions with his sandwiches. He was on oxygen for the past four years or so, owing to his emphysema. But to this day, every time I smell a pipe, I think of the ones he gave up when I was young.

I can't picture their house without him there. I can't imagine holidays without his presence. I will be thinking of him on that distant day if I ever walk down the aisle. I love you Pappap. Rest in peace.

8 comments:

Courtney said...

I'm so sorry for your loss. He sounds like an amazing man.

Robin said...

awwwww what a great man! I am soooo sorry darling!

Shades said...

Awww, man. I'm sorry! Losing grandparents sucks, no matter how much time you had with them. You are blessed to have had him in your life for so long. He is blessed to have gotten to spent so much time with you and live to a ripe old age. My grandparents started dropping like flies when I was barely out of my teens. My dad's grandfather just "gave up" after his son insisted on moving "Mamaw and Grandpa" from TX to FL to spend the rest of their years with HIS side of the family. They were fine where they were and didn't want to go. Now "Mamaw" is living in a nursing home in FL and nobody sees her much ("nobody" being the FL relatives). My parents travel down there yearly to spend time with her, but she hardly remembers anyone, anymore.

My mom's father passed away within a couple of years of that- longstanding heart conditions, and my dad's mother followed a year or two later- lung cancer. My mom's mother just blew a disc in her back and if she had taken better care of herself after her husband passed, this would not be happening. The woman is physically "older" than other people her age who come to my fitness classes and can do more than she! but she refuses to do anything to change herself.

I love the memories you shared. My dad's father and stepmother are still going strong and they would take us to McDonald's every time we visited. That is... until we grew up. Then he introduced the next set of grandkids to Taco Bell because he couldn't stand McDonald's anymore!

Andi said...

Thanks for sharing your sweet memories. Tate also associates the smell of a pipe with Pap. Pap always had a warm place in my heart because of his silly jokes and genuine concern for everyone. But, most of all, when I looked at him I saw Tate in the future (I always thought Tate doesn't look that much like his parents, but very similar to Pap)... hopefully Tate gets as many years as Pap and I'm around for some of those (the genetics aren't that great on my side).

Tate and Donnel are on their way. But, I'll be thinking of all of you on Friday and Saturday. God Bless!

AirmanMom said...

my prayers to you and your family. You are extremely blessed to have such beautiful memories of this fine man.

~AirmanMom returning to her blog...

ztateach said...

Sarah, I'm so sorry! I know how much you love your family and it makes me super sad! I am always here for you, if you need to talk, vent, or just need a damn funny joke. You know I always have a funny story stored up my sleeve! I'll give you a call this weekend when things calm down a little. I'm thinking about you! Send your family my love and tell them they are in my thoughts and prayers! LOVE AND MISS YOU!!! XOXO

Vegas Princess said...

I am so very sorry for your loss. This post was so beautiful and I can see how important your Pappap was to you and what a wonderful person he was. My grandfather did the same routine with his short hair. :)

I am thinking of you and your family during this difficult time.

Steelers Wine Girl said...

Thanks so much for the thoughts & prayers everyone! It was a tough weekend but we have a great support system, and wonderful friends & family that helped us through :)