Sunday, February 12, 2012

Thoughts of Home...

Been sad all day, my Papaw (my mom's dad), is in hospice care and close to the end. He's 83, a nice long life. The last 14 and a half years lived without his one great love.

Memaw and he raised six kids, saw 11 grandchildren grow up and I have lost count at the number of great-grand-kids he has seen.

The thing I will always associate with my grandparents is stability, we moved around seemingly at the whim of my dad's work in the grocery stores, but Memaw and Papaw's house was always home. It was always the same. I think you could show me the daytime TV schedule for any year of my youth and I could tell you what shows Papaw watched and which ones he wouldn't have been caught dead watching.

I can close my eyes and call to mind so many memories of him sitting in his recliner working his crossword puzzle while watching The Price is Right or Scrabble or the Today show. I think a lot of the way I am about needing to know things came from his crossword puzzles. I remember he would sometimes get up and leave the paper folded by his chair I would sit down in his chair and look at the puzzle. I can't count all the times I would read a clue and have no idea, but he had it filled in.

He's also the reason I want to get on Jeopardy! He never did but he should have. I used to marvel at the knowledge he had at his command, and the ability to remember it and shout the answer at the TV. Well, okay, there was no shouting in his house while Jeopardy! was on, hell loud breathing could get you tossed out.

As I got older, we never kept any kind of score or had any official contest or anything, but I started noticing I was holding my own against him. One day I noticed I usually did better than he did, I never told him that, but it sure made me feel good.

I have him to thank for shaping a lot of my faith too. Once when I was a young pup we were at Mass in Carlsbad and I was not yet old enough to share in Communion. I remember hollering something about not wanting the stupid cracker anyway. I've never made that mistake again.

He always liked the wrong teams though. The Yankees and The Cowboys. I had to give him a pass on both though I mean he was sort of born into the Yankee thing I guess. And the Cowboys were his team from the first day of their existence.

But in the middle 90's when that Cowboy-Niner rivalry was boiling it was hard for me to accept his liking the Cowboys. In 1994 the Niner-Cowboy game coincided with deer hunting. I remember seriously telling my dad I might not go out that Sunday and instead watch the game.

If I would have had a little more faith in my team I might have. I was so worried I would be watching the game with Papaw and see the Niners lose. I just couldn't do it. So my mom and dad and I listened to it as we drove the boonies, whooping and hollering as San Francisco won the game, 21-14.

He always likes to remind me that I once told him he wasn't my Papaw anymore. He always did the grocery shopping and one morning I got to go with him as he collected the week's groceries. I decided I deserved and/or needed some piece of candy. He wasn't going to let me have it and I hollered at him in the store that he wasn't my Papaw anymore.

He always was and always will be my Papaw.

May the angels welcome him to Paradise and may Memaw be there with them.

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