My Pepaw passed away yesterday. Very weird. He'd been sick for a while now-- about 6-7 years. He'd lost his vision and had alzheimers's-- and other just general old people things.
He was amazing.
I grew up going to Mississippi for the summers-- and memories of riding in the ol' blue pick up out to the farm, walking to church Sunday mornings and nights, shucking peas on the back patio, eating breakfast out in the garden, camping at Clarkco, baiting my own hook for the first time, watching the Braves on TV after dinner, him always drinking lemonade instead of sweet tea-- are permanently a part of who I am.
Even as an adult, the memories overwhelm me. A few years ago I did a project about WW2-- from the war perspective and the homefront perspective-- so, I interviewed my Pepaw aboout his tours of duty in the European front-- and how he fought and where he fought.
Even just last year, my dad and I went to visit the grandparents when one of their best friends who I've known my whole life passed away. At the graveside, Pepaw was too tired to walk out to the service, so he and I sat in the car-- and laughed. I couldn't even tell you what we were laughing about, but I remember his quiet little laugh and that glint in his eye to just remind me that he still knew enough to be himself.
I'll probably remember that laugh for a long time.
I love you, Pepaw.