Papa

One of my grandparents passed away recently and I thought I’d share what I read at his funeral, which was in July of 2023, because perhaps the meaning of life lives in the quietest of moments between tears and sadness and happiness and joy:

Hi, I’m Veronica, I’m Bob’s oldest granddaughter. I have many happy memories with Papa and here’s a few that stand out most to me. Papa was the gift card finding master, every Christmas, he would go through the mountains of wrapping paper and find the missing gift cards that had been misplaced and let me tell you, he saved a lot of them! He was also the go-to man if you needed help opening your brand new toys.

When Cordell and I were younger, we used to walk to Nama and Papa’s house after school where we were allowed to eat an ungodly amount of Oreo’s with milk and watch Ellen or cartoons. Then to top it off Papa would offer us a Sprite from the garage. And let me tell you, the garage Sprite hits different. Then sometimes, their old neighbor and friend Shep would stop by and I would watch Papa and Shep shoot the shit. Papa’s pretty blue eyes would light up as he would menacingly smile and belt out a good belly laugh. I will fondly remember his laugh mixed with the lull of their witty banter as he would lightly tap his hand on the table. 

Over the years, I would call Nama and Papa’s house phone and 90% of the time Papa would answer. He’d say ‘Hello?’ And I would tell him it’s me. His voice would soften and right on cue he’d say: ‘Ronnie! How are ya! Sonja, Ronnie’s on the phone.’ His tenderness and warmth will be greatly missed. 

When I was 10 my grandpa on my dad’s side had died unexpectedly, Papa had been present when I found out the sad news and pulled me to the side and hugged me and told me ‘I know I can’t replace your grandpa but I’ll be your grandpa, I’m here if you need me.’ Which is one of the greatest kindnesses I’ve ever been given and will cherish for the rest of my life. Papa will be greatly missed by all of his grandkids. Thanks.

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