I am hopeful that this will be an uplifting post today. Weeks like this one are often hard. April 2nd, 2007 was the day that my Pappa went to be with the Lord. It has been twelve years. I will always know how long it has been because just two months before he passed, he held his great-grandson, Dre, in his arms for the first time. Dre is my boy, and he is now twelve years old.
I vividly remember that evening in 2007. My wife and I had just stopped in at Granny and Pappa’s house. Hospice has been called in and all the family made visits on that day. It was cold and snowy that week. His funeral is one of the last times I recall it snowing in Oklahoma in April. We left their house in Slick and had almost made it to the Turnpike gate at Stroud when my dad called me to tell me that Pappa had passed. My hero had taken a step into glory to be with his hero.
My greatest memories of my childhood revolve around that man, a 1970s flatbed Ford with 4 on the floor, and cows, lots of cows. A man with the gift of gab (he could and would literally talk to anyone), I think that may be where my son gets it from. Oh, how I loved his stories. He loved his grandkids and did everything he could to spend time with us. My cousin, Ashlee, and I still reminisce about the trips we took with Granny and Pappa.
One of my Pappa’s favorite places to eat was Joseph’s Steakhouse in Drumright, OK. I had lunch there today and just sat by myself and reminisced on the amazing man that he was. He was a man’s man. A decorated war vet. Loved working cattle. Ordered steak nearly everywhere he went. He could rock a cowboy hat, pearl snap shirt, slacks, and boots like no one else I know. But he held all the inward qualities of a real man that I pray I can pass to my children and grandchildren just like he did. Pappa was fair. He was firm. He worked hard. He spoiled us out of love and care. He always stood for right and held tight convictions. He loved my Granny dearly. And above all, he loved Jesus. His best qualities are the outline of the man I strive to be.