My Dear Papa

Yesterday, my niece posted a picture of my late dad on Face Book and it almost floored me.  It was as if papa came up and stood right in front of me. I could feel is presence so strongly.

 

He passed away in 1997 and I still have not come to grips with the fact that he’s no longer here.  He’d been ill for sometime and passed away at the ripe old age of 81.

My papa was a stern but very sweet man.  He was quite handsome and the youngest child for his parents. He was also last to die of all his siblings.  Papa paid my sister and I wonderful compliments, made jokes with us, held discussions with us.  An ardent church-goer, he absolutely loved to read.  You could catch him every single day, sitting on our porch reading every page of the daily newspaper.  

Papa was a well-dressed man and was such a social butterfly!  Just ask anyone who lived in our area! Everyone loved papa.  The grand-children can attest this.  To them he was the epitome of friendliness and sweetness.  My daughter, #Execumama, still to this day, cannot bring herself to talking about her grandpa, without getting all teary-eyed and ready to just “bawl her eyes out!”

Papa showed me and my siblings real love.  For my sister and I, as little girls growing up it was important to have the love of our father and not to try seeking it from any other man in order to feel loved.  Yes, papa gave that to us. Papa was there for us from the day we were born.  He never left us.  We never knew what it was like to be without a father.  He provided for us.  He supported us.  He nurtured us.  We never even knew we were poor because papa made sure we never saw or felt as if we were!  He was well respected — by us and by everyone who knew him. 

When the grand children came along, they all wanted to spend most of, if not their entire day, with their grand parents.  Understandable.  Mama and papa, particularly papa, had more time to spend with them (by this time he was now retired from working).  He was their everything.  Just ask them and they’ll tell you in a hot minute.  Very warm and comforting  with a huge listening ear to all their little stories.  He had all the time in the world and he gave it to them!

My youngest brother looks and does everything exactly like my papa!  I can often be caught just staring at my brother whenever he comes in from Tennesseeto visit us, or whenever we visit him.  I have that to hold on to, because in my brother, it feels like I still have my papa here with me.  

I miss him so much.  Papa has moved on to higher ground, but I’m somehow still in denial that I can’t actually touch or feel him anymore.  It’s been 15 years…but who’s counting?