Wednesday, September 30, 2009


My Pawpaw was stubborn and ornery and difficult and never had an opinion he didn't share. He thought he was doing you a favor by sharing that opinion. His opinion. The only opinion that really mattered. He was also big. So tall and strong and big you could never imagine him no longer existing. Until one day he was diagnosed with cancer. And then the tallness and bigness and strongness lessened little by little until one day it wasn't there anymore at all. And I realized how much I needed, wanted, craved those opinions. His opinions. The only opinions that really mattered.

The tallness, bigness and strongness faded out four years ago today. I knew then and I know now that no one, no one, will ever be as proud of me as my Pawpaw was. I miss his sweet brown eyes and the way they would light up when someone he loved walked into the room and the way he would greet me with a "hey babe" or call me "little Kathy" after my mom. I loved that everyone was afraid of him until you realized there was a soft, sweet teddy bear under that gruff exterior. I loved that he would tell you what's what whether you felt you needed to know what's what or not. I loved his honesty and his laugh. When you made Pawpaw laugh, you felt like you'd really accomplished something pretty great. I miss his black and white sense of right and wrong. No gray areas, just clarity. I just miss him. Everyday.

But I know he's in heaven, lounging on a couch, his bald head pressed against the armrest making a permanent indentation, beer in his hand, a Randy Travis song playing softly in the background, watching Sanford & Son reruns. And one day I'll get there and I'll come running and jump on his belly and he'll tickle me until I scream with laughter and it'll be just like it was when I was seven. But in the meantime, I'm taking his pride in me, his love, his belief that I could do or be anything and I'm going to run with that. And try to become the person my Pawpaw believed I was. I love you. I miss you. You're in my heart, always and forever.


Heather said...

Your Pawpaw sounds just like my Grampy. Except Grampy was loud, and opinonated and infallible (need I mention the 56" waist??) until this past spring. Then he got leukemia, and now he's still opinionated, but in a subdued sort of way. And it makes me sad every day. This blog post DID NOT cheer me up. Stick to freshman year basketball stories, kid.