What I wouldn’t give for a bushel and a peck and a hug around my neck.
I just found out that a short while ago my PawPaw Harvey passed away. It wasn’t unexpected, but it still caught me in the gut that he wouldn’t hug my neck again. At least, not on earth.
His love for me was never in doubt, but I also never doubted he would spank me if needed. He never did. But he would have.
Manda-lou was his name for me. I can still hear him say it. I hope I never forget that sound. Or the sound of his voice telling a story. I once asked him to let me record him telling a story on a tape-recorder and he didn’t hesitate to humor me. I sure wish I still had that tape.
I can still smell the house he and my grandmother lived in. A house he built with his own hands. I will never eat cornmeal breaded fried shrimp without being transported back to that kitchen.
My love of state and national parks, camping, Texas, and even vehicles can probably be traced to him. Maybe even some of my stubbornness (though I’m pretty sure he isn’t the only contributor to that one).
He was always healthy and active until just recently. His last days were plagued with isolation due to COVID-19 and confusion due to a brain-bleed. He still thought he needed to be at work. His work is finally done; he has a legacy of children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren who love Jesus. I hope he is hearing “Well done, good and faithful servant” right about now.
This life is good. But it is a vapor. A little bit more every year I begin to see what the teacher in Ecclesiastes meant. I think PawPaw would be proud of what he did in his time here. I am reminded to make the most of my days, and to not forget nor fail to share the hope there is for something so much more.