Monday, November 15, 2010

Five for Five: remembering Papa

Five years ago today is a day I will never forget. Marianna was about 12 hours old when my mom and dad came into our hospital room in the middle of the night to tell us that Papa was with Jesus. Hours before I had sent my video camera with my family to show Papa his first great grandchild, knowing he would never see her with his own eyes this side of heaven. On November 15th, in the middle of overflowing joy for my new baby girl, I wept and grieved for the loss of a man who had filled a bigger spot in my life than it seems possible that any one person could do.

But he was my Papa, and nothing about him was ordinary. Today, 5 years later, I want to share some of my favorite memories.

1. Game time. Nobody was more fun than Papa. He loved a good game, be it Monopoly, hangman, or football, more than anyone I know. I remember so many evenings sitting around my grandparents little glass breakfast table, with a monopoly board on the table, watching Papa's eyes gleam with competitive anticipation of another victory at hand. He was cut throat, always sitting on his money to keep everyone in the dark on how he was doing. It was always pure joy for both of us.

2. El Chico's. Really, that could be expanded to dinners out of all kinds, but El Chico's was definitely our favorite. I don't know how many happy nights I have spent with Papa and Grammy at that old mexican restaurant, but I know I always wish I could have just one more. So many birthdays, special occasions, and no occasions at all were spent there, it was as comfortable as home. El Chico's has closed its doors, but that's okay. It was never the same with out him anyway.

3. Holidays. I think maybe we feel his absence here the most. He was so central to the celebrating, to the joy, to the excitement. I am so grateful for 25 years of Christmas, Thanksgiving, and Easter memories spent with him, as he led in the fun, praise and thanksgiving of the seasons.

4. Preaching. He was the very best. How will I ever know the impact those sermons have had on my life? God used Papa in a powerful way to shape me into who I am today. I am so grateful!

5. Stories. Nobody could tell a story or a joke like Papa. He could make me cry or laugh at the drop of the hat as he told a story, the way the story was meant to be told, or maybe even a little bit better. He was a master, and it's because of that I can recall so many of them today. I love to tell a good story myself, but to have a talent like that would be something indeed.

Remembering often makes me cry, but even more often makes me smile. The blessing of having him in my life is something I will always be grateful for. He continues to live in our hearts until we see him again in heaven.


Jessica said...

I feel like his voice was the soundtrack to my life. When I think about how much his words and voice are ingrained in my mind just from the 20ish years of sermons, I can only imagine what it was like for you.

I think I could still recite his Singing Christmas Tree "invitation" from heart. I remember mouthing the words along with him- but it never sounded any less heartfelt, no matter how many years he said basically the same thing.

He is missed.

Penny said...

I am missing my grandparents right now, too. Especially when I'm cooking their recipes during the holidays. I was blessed to have 42 years with my grandmothers, but lost my Poppa Dad at only 21. My daughter was 20 months old. He was one of my best friends, dying only 10 days after another best friend (she was only 19). Such a sad time, but I have so many wonderful memories to draw from. :)
Tell Marianna "Happy Birthday" from a blog friend. :)

julie said...

prayed for you today that you would have a day with sweet memories. he is missed!

Laurie in Ca. said...

If I could have known my Grandpa I would have wanted him to be like your Papa Angie. How sweet to be remembered with such a love. Corky and I are trying to make those memories with Isaac and Hannah now and pray they have many stories to tell one day:) Love you.

Love and Hugs, Laurie

Pam said...

Beautiful tribute to your Papa, Angie. He had such an impact on so many of us, and I am thrilled for you to have known him on a level we can only experience vicariously through you.

He is definitely missed.

patty said...

He had an impact on so many, and still does today. Hardly a Sunday goes by that an "Adrianism" doesn't creep into my husband's sermon. He sings with the angels waiting until his earthly angels join him!

Laurin said...

Wonderful remembering, Angie! How neat it is to comprehend the magnitude in which the Lord used your Papa around the world...and then to know how he personally touched his family is just such a blessing!

Zac Reno said...

i remember that day vividly. its hard to believe its been 5 whole years. i'm glad you're able to smile thinking of so many great memories! love you! and can't believe it's almost time for baby graham!!!

Heather B. said...

What awesome memories!!! I love that you loved El Chico but so sad yours closed!! I actually work at the one in our town and it is many peoples favorites!!!

Annie said...


Just came across your blog, and I smiled when I saw El Chicos :) My family went there alot back in the day as well, and you are definitely right... it had not been the same since!

He was an amazing person... thanks for sharing him with so many people. He was greatly loved!

~annie gray hendry