In this crazy world that we live in there are so many times that time takes away and fills the spaces that should be reserved for those that we love. We get busy with life and deadlines and appointments and the full plate of being an adult and lose focus. And sometimes during the small moments we find in the out spaces of a day we reflect and remember those special times and realize that they WERE significant pieces of our lives.
I met a man several years ago that had a twinkle in his eye and a smile as big as the state of Texas and as he shook my hand with a strong grip he said that I was a "tall drink of water and a pretty one at that" and then he proceeded to hug me unconditionally. This man was PaPa and I will never forget his stature and his presence and his kindness and his genuine soul that day that he welcomed me into "the family".
Over the years there were several phone conversations and a few times that I was able to see him and be entertained by his words and his stories. I will never forget the bologna and mayo sandwich story at the BBQ restaurant, the fire ants at The Ranch, his prized bulls, reciting the ABC's backwards saying "I learned the alphabet backwards before I ever learned it forwards", his story about the 'hoosey goosey mountains', the way that he would say "well, that's good" with such inflection, the selective hearing skills when the Dallas Cowboys were on tv, all the pets that the family had over the years since they once owned a pet store; namely a monkey that lived with the family and the wholesome and genuine concern that he had for everyone...all the time. I cannot remember a time that I talked with him that he did not ask about how someone was doing. It was just his nature, just PaPa...
PaPa was a true Texas gentleman with riches far more than gold or any monetary value. He had a strong conscience and knew what was important in life....family and laughter and remembrance of times past.
I will hold those memories in my heart, in my thoughts and in my soul forever.
"PaPa" Elmo 1920-2014
Today was the send off for PaPa....a fitting day; National Armed Services Day, a fitting tribute for a great man that has a legacy that will live on and on in the hearts and minds and souls of all that he touched.
Godspeed PaPa...you and the family have been in my thoughts all day. I wish I could have been there.