First of all, I miss you. I wish you were. I need you here. As big life changes are coming my way and I wish you were here to tell me all my goals and dreams. I miss waking up and crawling on your lap in the mornings to watch "Thomas the Tank Engine" or "Scooby-Doo." I secretly love that my step dad loves westerns as much as you did because it reminds me of the days spent with you watching continuous John Wayne movies. I miss watching "Cars" on repeat with you.
(The first tattoo I ever got was a quote from "Cars" for you. It's OK that no one understands it because to me, it’s the perfect reminder to live every day for you.)
No matter what was going on in your life you always made time to sit and color with me or let me follow you around in your barn for hours on end. You shaped the person I am today. Everything I have done and will do, everything I am, is to make you proud.
What I would give for one more dinner to sit and talk with you. Imitating the way you cut your corn off the cob, (BTW, I still do that). You were my best friend, the most amazing person I have ever met. You were kind, selfless, and incredibly wise even though we all knew how much of a kid at heart you were. You taught me to never give up and to always dream big and to believe in myself. You were my biggest supporter and always my number-one fan.
You taught me strength, patience, respect, hard work, to love deeply always and to no matter what also have a positive outlook in whatever situation life throws at you. I hope these characteristics always show through me so that the parts of you in me will live, always.
Papaw, you are my hero. It terrifies me that I am starting to not remember what your voice or your laugh sounded like. It breaks my heart that I can’t remember certain things you used to say.
However, every time I sit down at your desk to work on homework or new articles the memories rush back into my head. The memories of the hours spent pulling Sharpie after Sharpie out of that tiny little middle drawer. I can run my hands over the tiny angels or the John Wayne stamp that you used to color with the Sharpies. Those memories are what keep me going; those memories remind me of the hours upon hours that I would spend right by your side, day in and day out.
6 years ago, my life changed forever.
6 years ago, my best friend went to spend an eternity with our Savior.
6 years ago, everyone told me eventually the pain would go away.
Papaw, it has been 6 years and the pain is still here.
It’s been 6 years and the longing for you to be here is present in my heart every morning and every night.
Papaw, I love you and I miss you so incredibly much. I can’t wait for the day we meet again and can watch day’s worth of "Scooby-Doo" and get caught up on all the "Cars" movies they’ve made since you left. Thank you for making me the person I am today and as much as I miss you, I love that you aren’t in pain anymore and I know that God needed you more than I did.
Heaven needed a hero like you Papaw.
“Turn right to go left, forever Papaw.”