I was fortunate enough to have a wonderful grandfather. He was a good person. He was a holiness minister. I learned a lot from him about the Bible. He taught me that maintaining high morals was of the utmost importance. By example, he taught me to treat others as I would want them to treat me. He also taught that I should love everyone after first I loved God.
My first remembrance of him was as we would go to the local radio station for my grandmother, aunt and uncle to sing the old time gospel songs and then my grandfather would deliver his sermon across the air waves. I can remember the acoustic walls of the studio. My grandfather would preach into the microphone with all the fire and energy he would as is he was in his church standing before people. These were exciting times for me,
I knew, even at five years of age, I wanted to be exactly like my grandfather. In church, as he would walk back and forth holding his hand out to the congregation; I would right there beside him, pacing back and forth. He would call members of the church to the front if they needed prayer. He believed in the laying on of hands. As he would anoint them with oil (As was the tradition.) and placed his hand on the person’s head; I would reach out and lay my hand on them also. Usually, their leg was as high as I could reach. I would pray for them right along with my Papa. That is what I always called him.
Years past and I grew. Everywhere Papa went, I was there with him. When he would go to visit, I would visit. If he went to another church as a visitor, I was there. When he had to preach a funeral; I was always at his side. I feel that always being this close to death gave an extra spark to my concern as to what was after death. He was an honorable man and one to be mimicked.
I continued to grow. Papa loved to hunt and fish. During the spring and summer months we were always at a pond or the river. It was of the most exciting times in my life; when I would be out in a small john boat with Papa, just the two of us. He would teach me about life which would very often be interrupted by the shout of, “Whoa”, as he or I would pull into the boat one of always several fish.
When cool weather was getting closer; he would get his guns ready for the hunting season ahead. I loved to go to shoot dove and quail with him. My favorite was always to go squirrel hunting with Papa. He would have me to stand back from the tree as he would make some noise or simply walk to the other side of the tree; which would cause the squirrel to move and to start running. It was challenging to shoot at the critter as he would bounce from limb to limb.
Later on in life, my grandmother was to first to pass on. I remember kneeling by Papa as he sat in his recliner and talking to him trying to comfort him upon his lost. There was no one to replace my grandmother. He and I both knew that. With him being a minister and always comforting others; I don’t know if my words were of any help; but, I tried.
My grandfather was so pitiful trying to live on his own. I tried to go to see him as often as I could. He hunted and fished as he aged on into his seventies and eighties. He tried to stay active and to continue to preach. With age the words grew hard for him to find and it was difficult for him to stay on a subject.
In 1986, death finally brought peace to Papa. No more did he have to hurt. No more did he have to feel the sting of loneliness.
My Papa was an exceptional man. He was one who lived what he preached. He was an example I was thankful I had to follow. Papa, I miss you and love you.
I hope this allowed you to have some good memories of your grandfather. They will always live in our hearts.