One year ago today, the world lost one heck of a man! Although simple, he was one of the best…. If I could write a letter to Heaven, here’s what I’d say.
Although it’s been a year since I’ve seen you, I still remember your face. Actually, there’s quite a lot that I remember about you. I think that’s because you were always there, with Mamaw of course. There weren’t many places that you and her didn’t go, hand in hand, together. Heaven being one of those.
I remember how well you pulled off the flannel and plaid shirts with “ju jeans” topped off with a cap of some sort, everyday. You always carried a pocket knife, a handkerchief, and Chap Stick with the black label in your pocket. It was your signature look!
I remember how you always called me “Chelsey May” instead of “Chelsey Marie”. You were notorious for teasing ALL the time!
I remember how every time someone left the house you’d say, “Come up when ya get done workin’,” with an imitated speech impediment of your own kiddos growing up.
I remember riding in the old Model A Ford during the Fourth of July parade on several occasions. Boy did I feel like Miss America!
I remember watching The Big Joe Polka Joe, RFD TV, The Price is Right, Young and the Restless, Cardinal ball games, and Hee-Haw reruns with you for hours, until you’d fall asleep, remote in hand. By the way, The Price is Right isn’t the same without Bob Barker!
I remember playing wiffle ball in the yard beside the house, going to help you feed the Beagles, and your wicked serve in ping pong. Not to mention, all those “6′s” you’d roll playing Aggravation with Grandma and I.
I remember watching you read and turn the pages of that old, worn out, black Bible. You were such an inspiring man of God. Gospel music was a passion of yours too. Whether we were making a road trip to the Gospel Music Convention or watching The Gaithers on TV, I gained to appreciate Gospel and Blue Grass, all because of you.
I remember sitting next to you in the kitchen watching you take your pills with an unsteady hand after you finished your oatmeal while grandma fixed me some scrambled eggs and toast. You always asked. “Are you going to eat all that?” or “Can I have a bite?” And, I always did, without giving you a single bite.
I remember all your quirky noises and silly sayings.
I could go on and on for days sharing memories and things I remember about you. I’m so grateful to hold those memories in my heart and revisit them any time I want. I find comfort in that fact.
I just want to say a quick “Thank You”, for all your support. The love and attention you showed me and my siblings, the countless ball games you attended, the Grandparent’s Day breakfasts’, and many school music concerts will never go unnoticed in my memory. You were there at all the birthday parties, family get-togethers (boy there were a lot!), and when I walked across the stage at my high school graduation.
During all this time of reflection, I can’t help but think of the milestones in life that I wish you were here for; my new job, my first home, my wedding day, the birth of my children, and so on. But, in the midst of all that, you will be involved and you will be there, inside my heart and behind many actions. I use the memories and things you’ve taught me every day. Things about life, how to love someone, being faithful, working hard, providing for your family, being an example of faith, honoring your country, and laughing at life, just to name a few. These things I will pass on and continue to reminisce in the time you and I shared.
Please say hello to grandma for me and give her a big hug and kiss. Oh, and tell her I love her MOST! I know you all enjoyed some cake and lots of ice cream for your birthday this week. I’m sure there was a party, lots of singing, and of course, love. I’ll see you again someday, but until then you’re memories will keep me company.
Love Always and Forever,
P.S. The house is in good hands. I’m slowly, but surely, making progress. I think you and Grandma would be so proud, even though you’re not a fan of change and spending money! I really think you’d like it anyway…