I'm trying not to be sad today.
I'm trying to hold my head up and be brave.
I honestly didn't think this day would affect me as much as it has.
Today's the 5th anniversary of my Papal's death.
I miss him.
Everyday I feel that his presence is with me. I feel as if he is right beside me, watching me play with my children, laughing about how I am making sure to raise them in the backwoods type of way right in the middle of what he would call "the city."
I remember when I moved to "the city." I'd go over to his house on a weekend home from college, and hunt him down out in the field. We'd sit in the truck, watchin' the cows, talkin' about life "in the city." He'd laugh so hard at the stories I'd bring home about the "city folk" I'd met in college. He'd get to chuckling so hard that he'd get choked up on his chewing tobacco and have to pat his eyes with his white hanky.
I miss that.
I miss the way his whole body would shake when he laughed.
He LOVED to laugh.
My whole family LOVES to laugh.
I'm pretty sure we all got that from Papal.
He also LOVED to tell stories.
I miss that too.
I miss the magical way that he had with getting people to sit around together and tell stories.
When he got the hankering to talk he'd stand on the porch and wave people down, grab them a chair and have Mamal put on a cup of coffee. He did this with family, friends, employees and random strangers. The man loved to talk, loved to tell stories, and loved to tell people about Jesus.
I miss seeing him, this big strong farmer, get teared up while talkin' about Jesus.
Every year since his death my family has gathered at Golden Corral, the only restaurant that can fit my MASSIVE family, to eat and tell stories about Papal. Mamal rents the whole back room for us. It typically starts off somber. We all walk into the room missing his presence, feeling the void that he left behind. But that void is quickly filled by each of us taking turns to tell some of our cRaZy Papal stories.
Every year the same stories seem to creep in and every year we all pretend as if it is the first time we have ever heard them.
For that small span of time, he is still alive.
He lives through the stories; He has once again waved us down and demanded that we all grab a cup of coffee and sit around for a quick chit chat.
This anniversary I was unable to make it down to the Family Farm to be with everyone.
My husband kept telling me it was ok for me to go, but we have so much going on here at home that the thought of having to drive all the way there, with two kids, all alone, was overwhelming.
I opted to stay home.
I didn't expected to feel so emotional today.
I knew I would wake up missing him, feeling a sense of lose that tends to creep back around this time of year, but I didn't realize how much I would yearn to be surrounded by family, to be comforted by the stories.
One of my favorite things as a child was sitting around listening to the grown ups tell stories about "when they were little." I can still see the stories playing in my head like a movie.
They say the art of story telling is dying out. For some reason our generation seems to have lost the simple pleasure of sittin' on the front porch to share a good story. They'd rather facebook, tweet, text, watch tv, or.... blog.