Friday, August 10, 2007

"Pizza, Pizza, Don't Eat Me..."

My Paw Paw Harry used to have the funniest sayings. He said things like, "Pizza, Pizza, don't eat me, eat that little girl/boy behind the tree!" Or "Once upon a time, a goose drank wine, a monkey played the fiddle on a sweet potato vine, the vine broke, the monkey got choked, they all went to heaven on a little steamboat."

Paw Paw Harry was born on August 10, 1921 in Melville, Louisiana. He was one of nine but, I don't remember where in the line up he fell. He was in the middle somewhere. The oldest was James and the youngest was my wonderful Aunt Tumpy. Her real name was Ollie Ruth but, when she was little she'd always tump over while sitting so she got that nickname. My Paw Paw worked hard as a young man and never ever stopped.

When I was born, I was lucky enough to have all four of my grandparents and some great-grandparents, too. My Maw Maw Beverly, Paw Paw Harry's wife (my daddy's parents) died when i was 3 and a half. My Paw Paw got lung cancer around then. He lived with us. There is a picture that I love of me and him. I'm standing in one of his cowboy boots! I was young and we could've lost him then but, thankfully we didn't and I got many more years to spend with him.

So many words can be used to describe Paw Paw. Hard-working, funny, loyal, loving, strong. The toughest man I have EVER known. Ever. When he needed to get his tonsils out, he insisted the doc take them out right there in the office. No drugs. The doctor handed him his tonsils back in a jar. He survived that first bout of lung cancer. He survived skin cancer on his face and became practically deaf. He never considered himself old or sick. He did exercises and worked outside in his shop making things out of wood.

Paw Paw loved his family. He has two kids, my dad and his sister, my Nanny Susan. Nanny has 3 children- Robby, Jennifer & Cody. My daddy has my brother, Justin & me. We all fought over who could sit by Paw Paw, who Paw Paw loved more, who could fix Paw Paw's plate (that was me & Jen). When you made a plate for Paw Paw, he needed a "pusher" and a "washer"- that's a piece of bread and a drink. Funny.

Jennifer had her first son, Hunter, in April of 2001. My Paw Paw was so proud to be a great-grandfather! Hunter was (is) a beautiful boy and was the best baby. I know how proud Jen was to give him such joy. I wished so much, and still do, that I could have had a child for him to see.

When I heard that Paw Paw had cancer again, the cancer that would ultimately take him away from us, I was so scared and beyond sad. What would life be like without him? None of wanted to find out.

When he went into the hospital, that final week, I was living in Georgia. My mom called and told me it was time to come. It was February 2002, Luke was at work and I was unable to move. Luke came home, packed all of our stuff, packed ME into the car and we drove. I cried and cried as he drove and the angry sky opened up and poured. It took about 11 hours to make a normal 8 hour trip. My poor Luke said that he was going to get me there on time no matter what and he did. He'd been working for hours and hadn't slept for over a day! Luke reminds me a lot of Paw Paw.

When I think about my Paw Paw now, I can hear his voice, see his smile and even feel his hands. The very last thing he ever said to me was, "I love you too much." Who could ask for anything more? He was so sweet and so good. So strong and so loyal. There is not a day that goes by that I don't want him to be here but, I know that in heaven he can dance (he was a great dancer!!), he walk with no pain, he can hear, he can see my Maw Maw, he sees us and deserves peace now.
Happy Birthday Paw Paw.... I miss you everyday. I love you and wish for One More Day

Last night I had a crazy dream
A wish was granted just for me
It could be for anything
I didn't ask for money
Or a mansion in Malibu
I simply wished, for one more day with you

One more day
One more time
One more sunset, maybe Id be satisfied
But then again
I know what it would do
Leave me wishing still, for one more day with you

First thing Id do, is pray for time to crawl
Then Id unplug the telephone And keep the TV off
Id hold you every second
Say a million I love yous
That's what Id do, with one more day with you

Leave me wishing still, for one more day
Leave me wishing still, for one more day

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