Sunday, April 19, 2009


Grandpa, Pa, Papa, Pappy, Pop, whatever you choose to say whoever you are calling is usually a very special person to you.  At least I know in my life that name holds a very, very special meaning.  When I titled this entry, I thought of the song by The Judds called, "Grandpa".  The song has always meant a lot to me since I've always been so close to my own Grandpa.  My Papa, has been such a huge part of my life for as long as I can remember.  He has been there when we needed him most, and was always reliable.  Growing up I loved being at his house, on the porch, or even riding in the woods with him.  As young as four, my mom would send me off with him to the woods when he'd go to check on my uncle and the other boys that were hunting.  I watched him work many days from daylight to dusk.  I remember looking at his hands as a little girl and thinking how old, and rough his hands looked.  Now I know those hands were hands that were providing hands, loving hands.  Each wrinkle and scar an indication of his love and dedication to his family.

When I married Travis, I was blessed with two more sets of grandparents.  Papa Joe & Granny Vera are Paulette's parents.  Then we have Papa Cotton (Neal), and Granny Noni (Naomi), which live in front of us.  Both of these couples made an instant impression on me.  Both full of an undying love for one another.  They still have the "spark" that I'm sure was there the day they married.  It is a blessing to me to know that after all these years there love is still strong, and what an example for people my age.  Marriage is worth staying together for years, until "death do us part."  Both Granny's always cooking, and welcoming you when you enter their homes.  Both Papa's full of funny stories, silly jokes, and wisdom like none other.  Like with my own Papa, I've grown to love both of these men as my own Papa.  How lucky am I to have so many Papa's in my life?
A few months back our family was struck with some news that no family ever wants to hear, our Papa Joe was diagnosed with cancer.  He is such a Godly, Christian, loving, caring, genuine, friendly man.  I remember meeting him for the first time and thinking what a sweet person he was.  He always has a smile on his face regardless of the situation.  His spirit is unbreakable I do believe.  He's fighting this battle with a smile on his face.  I don't know how some people do it, I think what I would do in his situation and I can't honestly say I think I'd still be smiling. 

We visited Papa Joe today.  His been pretty weak in the past days, and he was asking to see the boys.  I'm glad that visiting with him brightens his day and that the boys bring him so much joy. I love to watch him show Carter little hand tricks, or tell him a funny story, or listen to him pick at Granny for whatever.  Some of you may know that my children are named after their great-grandfathers.  Carter Neal, named Carter after my Papa Fred "Carter", and Neal after Papa Cotton.  Then little Tucker is Tucker William after Papa Joe.  I wanted the boys to have names with a meaning, and to name them after people that Travis & I hold so dear to our hearts.  

We don't know what lies ahead with Papa Joe and his cancer, all I do know is that he is in God's hands.  It blesses my heart to know that he is a man of God, that he is saved and that if God does call him home, he'll be ready to meet Jesus.  I ask that if you are reading this to please keep Papa Joe & Granny Vera in your prayers.  Prayer is a powerful thing, and although we may not always get our answers right away, God hears our every cry.  I pray that God will provide Papa with restful nights, and the strength he needs to get through each day.  I pray that Granny will be able to continue being a rock for Papa, and that God will give her a peace that He is taking care of everything.  I thank God for each of these men that I've wrote about tonight.  I pray many blessings on their lives for all that they've done for their families.  



Kari said...

Jen- I had no idea..... Papa Joe is in my prayers from this point on.

What a sweet post about the Papa's. :)

Kati Alison said...

Jen...I just caught up on your blog this morning..and this one (as you know) has brought me to tears!! I just love the pictures that you took of Papa Joe and granny...PRICELESS! You are so right about him...HE IS ONE OF THE GREATEST MEN I KNOW!! Just like you said..that song.."GRANDPA"...reminds me of him everytime I hear it!It is so hard to see him like he is and it breaks my heart. It does give me joy though to know that God picked me to be his granddaughter. Our family is blessed in so many ways to have him and granny Vera..they are my light. Thanks for posting made my day!! God Bless you and them and may He give them the strength to carry on til' He calls him home. Love ya girl!