It is memorial day weekend so forgive me for getting a bit sappy with this post but I am truly missing my Papal. My Papal was, and always will be my Hero. It has almost been three years now since he passed. I still feel the sting, the heart ache, that I felt when my mom called me in the early morning hours to inform me that he had passed away from an aortic aneurysm. It is something I will never just get over. I deal with everyday. Sometimes I even go out in the field, pretend he is walking beside me and carry on a little conversation.
I'm going to write some memories that I have of Papal. The memories that always pop up when I think about him.
He would pick me up at mamal's right before he went to feed the cows. I would climb in the old truck that was covered in the smell of pipe smoke, chewing tobacco, cow poo and fresh hay. I miss all those smells. When I was younger I would sit in the cab and watch the men throw hay to the cows that were following behind the truck. The cows would see that old truck and take off running towards it because they knew he had food. As I got older I was allowed to stand in the bed of the truck and throw out the hay with the men.
At any random time papal would drive on up to the house with the tractor and pick us grand kids up and take us for a ride. there was one specific time that he hooked a wagon to the back and drove us all up in the wooded part of the property. Mamal packed a picnic and we ate on the tractor before playing cowboys and Indians in the trees.
He bought a buggy from the Amish, hooked the horse up to it and would take all us grand kids down to the convenient store to get ice cream. We thought we were the coolest kids ever to have an Amish buggy.
I wanted a doll house one year so Papal had a small house built for all us grand kids and hooked electric up to it.
I don't know many people who are given the permission to play in the hay barn after the hay has been stacked but our Papal let us! We would spend hours upon hours in the barn loft building massive forts and houses out of the hay bails. It was so much fun. Papal even made us a little club house in the barn by cleaning out the tool shed, putting an on school bus window in the wall and placing an old mail box by the door.
one year after watching us try our best to build a fort using the skid pile our papal had a cool tree house built for us on the farm. It has two windows, a front porch and a screen door.
On the top of one of the hills he put up a massive long tire swing for us. He would take us up there, push us and then sit back in his chair that he always kept in his truck and smoke his pipe while he watched us swing.
What I mainly miss is his smell, his voice, his laugh, hearing him blow his nose......it was always so loud. It is so weird to walk into mamal's house and not have the pipe/chewing tobacco smell.
I miss sitting with him for hours talking about nothing.
I miss driving around the farm with him to check on the cows or to feed the fish in the pond.
I miss eating candy bars with him. I miss being pushed in the tire swing by him.
I miss the random funny things he would say. He was notorious for sticking his foot in his mouth.
I miss watching him wash up and shave after a long day on the farm.
I miss the smell of Old Spice.
I miss going fishing with him with the cane pole fishing pole he made for us.
I miss being drug behind a truck, across the field on a inner tube, in the snow.
I miss being taught how to shoot the bee bee gun then told, after I had killed a bucket full of birds "ummm, let's give those birds a rest....you're too good of a shot."
I miss watching him make us sling shots out of tree limbs and old shoes.
I miss sitting on the front porch eating the walnuts from the walnut tree that he was cracking.
I miss him teaching me how to drive a stick shift when I was in middle school and finally giving up and letting me loose on the farm "just don't go over the 2nd gear and remember the clutch. I'll be sitting on the front porch to keep an eye on you."
I miss watching him help a mama cow give birth to her calf.
I even miss the life and death conversations we had to have when the mama goat died while giving birth to her baby.
I just miss him and the fun little everyday adventures I would have with him on the farm. I wish Paul and Anna could have gotten to know him but I try my best to show them my Papal through me. I just hope I am as good a parent as he was a Papal. That my children grow up and have all these fantastic memories of their childhood with me.