Papaw on one of his visits to see us in Miami. With Dave, me, & Kim in Miami in '73.
My grandfather "papaw" Clifford was born November 22, 1914 in Marietta, Georgia, to George Wallace and Mattie Lou Clackum. His mother died from Typhoid Fever when he was 8 years old and he was raised by her family. He's been married to mamaw for 68 years and they had six children together, one of them being my dad.
My dad joined the Air Force in the 1960's and at one time was stationed at Homestead AFB where he met my mom. And that's how we wound up in Florida and all of dad's family up in Georgia. Oh sure, we would visit mamaw, papaw and the family up there as kids, and boy did we have FUN!! I also traveled up there more often as we got older, but looking back it wasn't enough. I got spoiled living near my mom's folks all our lives, and having the other side of my family in another state was just something we got used to. I sure wish I could turn back the clock but I can't. Everything happens for a reason.
Papaw isn't doing so well right now, he has cancer and it won't be long now. I could pray for a miracle but Papaw is 91, he's lived a full life and all I want is for him to not be in any pain and to be ok...whatever ok is. I think I will be ok knowing papaw is looking out for us.
I remember before I met DH I'd go to Georgia regularly to see the family. Well whenever I'd get ready to drive home on Sunday mornings, the family wouldn't go to church so we could hang out together. And papaw and I would sit outside and he'd clean the windshield on my 1991 Pontiac Grand Am, check the fluids, and make sure it was ready to roll. OF course I knew he didn't want me to go, he never did want his grandkids to leave, but we always had to go home. Well at times he would slip me some $$ for gas. He'd have it tucked away neatly folded in the pocket of his overalls and he just couldn't wait to give it to me. Even though I didn't need it, I'd take it because it made him feel good. And well it made me feel good too. He was always like that, looking out for us.
That's just the kind of man he is.
Papaw worked long past retirement, and he was still driving long past most folks. Every Saturday morning since time began, he'd take Mamaw to get her hair done and take my aunt to the grocery store so she could do the shopping for them. As he got older, he got slower, but he always loved spending time with his children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren. That's just what he loved to do. We'd all sit outside and he'd have a mouth full of snuff, laughing that silly laugh of his, and his hands would be neatly tucked into his trademark overalls. I can close my eyes and picture those moments now.
What fun they were...