If you are a facebook friend or normal reader of my blog you know that my PaPa has been battling aggressive cancer for the past few months... During this time, I have tried to be at every appointment, with the exclusion of a few that conflicted with my work schedule.
Sitting through chemo treatments, hours in waiting rooms during scans, etc. may seem excruciating to some, but to me it has been a small offering to a man I owed so much to. It has been an honor to be his grandchild, and not only that but he accepted me as a daughter as well when I needed a father to look up to. Today my PaPa was rescued from this world, and taken up to be with Jesus... I know he is smiling down already...
It is no secret my childhood was a bit nontraditional, which I used to look at as a trial, but as I get older I see the joy in not being stereotypically "normal". I lived with my grandparents when I was young, and when my mom married my stepdad we moved in with him when I was five, but even at that point I still stayed with my grandparents about half the time (or more).
Growing up my Grandma and PaPa had a major influence on me. They taught me how to work hard, how to treat others with dignity and respect, and above all how to not take yourself so seriously that you cannot have fun. Life's greatest moments are when you could careless what others think.
I was lucky enough to be the last kiddo raised in that household which meant I was extremely spoiled, :)
Most nights my Grandma would tuck me in bed, and before she could make it down the hallway to their room I had snuck out and ran down the other hall and hopped in their bed. This trend continued even up until my early teen years, LOL, as it had grown to be a funny game we played.
Then, I would sneak back out and watch Johnny Carson or Jay Leno with my PaPa. When the "jokes" were over we would go get back into the big california king bed, where I would typically end up taking up the most room, :) and Grandma would tell us stories about the notorious turtle or bear or smurfs that lived in the woods and pond by our house.
Around 2am, my PaPa and I would always wake up and have a "midnight snack" - most times we would eat saltine crackers which quickly changed to the name "PaPa Crackers" since everyday we would eat them together, and I would help my Grandma put some in his packed lunch for work.
To this day, me and my own children call saltines "PaPa Crackers"... Most nights when we were snacking, my Grandma would eventually hear us and come join us by making a fresh pitcher of sweet tea and then back to bed we all went about 30 minutes later... That is after we turned on the flood lights to see if the turtles, bears, or smurfs were outside our bedroom window. :)
This is just one memory of the millions we have made over the years... But tonight I felt like sharing it.