Monday, May 26, 2008

Memories of Papa

The ever talented and brilliant Io wrote a beautiful post regarding her Grandfather which opened a flood gate of memories for me regarding my Grandfather, who we affectionately called Papa.

I thought in light of Memorial Day I would post some information regarding my Papa who made a career of the Air Force and traveled the world. My Grandparents on my mom side, Kitty and Chuck as they were known to most were known to me as Grandma Kitty and Papa - two of the most loving, inspiring and encouraging souls. Grandma Kitty passed when my mom was 32 and grieves her loss, still.

The following is a piece I read at his funeral that was held at Riverside National Cemetery. My Aunt who works in law enforcement and is greatly supported by the men in blue has an amazing boss who ordered a police escort with flashing lights to escort the family. There was a 21 gun salute and a flag folding ceremony. I've had the honor to experience several military funerals and this was by far one of the most emotional and poignant.

Memories of Papa

The strong masculine scent of Aramis cologne, the combination of Extra sharp cheddar cheese & triscuits, Homemade Ice cream that took way too long to make, the scent of oranges wafting through the air as orange trees blossom, gathering all of the grandchildren because of the “1-bag per person” deal on sugar, learning how to recover a capsized catamaran in Lake Perris, A kiss and a “Hello Beautiful” before I walked down the aisle to get married. The jolly chuckle, the happy heart, the proud man my papa was. Each of us has blessed with many great memories imprinted on our souls.

I’ll remember him in so many ways, like the German chocolate cake he loved, he was rich with life experiences and with love. Smooth, he was always popular and very charming around ladies. Nutty – always knowing a joke or two and willing to share with anyone who would listen.

His excitement and enthusiasm, when speaking about traveling the world and finding new experiences. His physical presence, the strong arms and large physique that hugged me so tight I could barely breathe. Even as an adult, he still made me feel little – like a child, safe in his arms. Upbeat and happy, his emotional presence was always felt as he entered a room with a beaming smile – always.

We grieve the loss of a father, an Uncle, a Brother –in law, a Father in law, and a Papa and we can be comforted knowing that we have gained another angel in Heaven to look over all of us. May our memories help to guide us, comfort us and remind us not to do the easy thing but the right thing, travel and enjoy life, honor our flag, our country and the men and women that protect it daily and to always think good thoughts.

Papa with mom and Aunt Sassy


Chelle said...

Its wonderful how much grandparents touch our lives. My last grandparent died last November, the day before her 91st birthday. I have plants all over my house that remind me of her.

kate said...

Aww. This is so sweet! You make me wish for that kind of relationship. My mom's father died the week I was born, and my dad's father was kind of not-so-nice, so I never really had that sort of relationship with a grandpa. What a wonderful rememberance of your Papa.

Barb said...

Awwww. I can so relate.