Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Papa


My grandfather passed away 13 years ago & I'm sharing a few thoughts on his life.



13 years ago today, my grandfather passed away.

At his funeral, one of the songs played was On The Road Again by Willie Nelson.

It’s pretty much his life story.

Affectionately known in our family as Papa, he was a man of many talents.  He was a factory worker, a dairy farmer, & he played in a band.  With so much going on, he must have always been on the road!

I was super young when he was in the band, so I missed out on a lot of it.  I would only catch glimpses of his musical talents when he would bring out a guitar at a random family gathering.  There also was an old cassette tape (that has since been converted into digital copies) of 5 songs recorded live from one of their shows that I listened to a lot.  We even played one of the songs at our wedding as a tribute to him.

He was running the farm well into my teenage years.  I remember “helping” him bale hay along with the rest of my family when I was really young.  It was a sad day when the barn no longer had Holstein cows inside of it.

In my young mind, he always seemed to do everything effortlessly.  As an adult, I wonder where he found the time.  He & my grandma also had 7 children, so family was another part of his life as well.

He did all of this in his 62 years on this earth,

He developed an aggressive blood cancer when I was in high school.  It was then that I had the unfortunate reality of having a loved one diagnosed with cancer & the many complications that come along with that.  I remember many, many hospital trips & stays.

We had a huge birthday party for him right before he passed away.  He passed away only 4 days after his birthday, so it’s a double heartache every July.  At this party, our family all gathered together & celebrated him.  We were always kind of big on birthdays & this one was no different.

When he passed, I received the call on a Monday morning when I was at work.  I was in shock. When I finally made it to his home, all of my family was there, saying their goodbyes.

We went through the motions & his funeral was held on a Friday.  It was there that On The Road Again was played.  One of the lines in the song is: On the road again // Goin' places that I've never been & it still gets me to this day. 

If there’s a life after this, I hope he’s there singing.

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