Love you Papa.

Early Tuesday morning, my Papa went to be with Jesus. I debated on whether or not to write about it here, but I came to the conclusion that I must. I must, because not only did inherit my Papa's extreme stubbornness and strange wit, but I also got his love of writing and image making. And sunshine. And orange juice.

When I was small, my Papa built my playhouse. The one that stands in the backyard at my parent's home. The one that my grandparents mailed empty food boxes from Chicago to Kentucky for. They understood that I needed real food to play grocery store with.

When I was a bit older, I would spend a couple weeks each summer in Chicago with my grandparents. We would go to the movies, the candy store down the road and I would take them to dinner with the money Mom gave me. I loved buying them dinner so much.

And we would spend hours at their office. The Florida Store's office - my Papa would keep the popcorn flowing and let me lick all the envelopes closed that I wanted to. He found it humorous to jump out from behind the cubicle dividers to take my picture. On the way home we would drop the film at Jewel while we bought groceries and pick up the prints from the last film drop-off. The next day we would hang up the pictures he took of me in my own, little cubicle.

When I was home and in college, we would write letters to eachother. He loved to write letters. He would write about all sorts of things. And he almost always sent pictures with his letters. Pictures of the most random things. Pictures of tractors, of his beloved train or the dog or the tomato plants in the yard. (I got my dog love from him, for sure) The pictures were usually out of focus, strangely exposed....or just strange, but he loved it. He loved to push that button and write those words and stuff them in an envelope signed: Love, Papa.

And that's why I decided to share this with you, my friends. Because my Papa made pictures and wrote words to go with them. Silly words, descriptive words, memorable words. And it's all those words and all those pictures that make it so easy to remember, to understand and to learn about my family. I want to remember my life, this little business, my sweet little dog and my wonderful family and friends. I want to remember how it felt to see people be married, what it felt like to spend the fourth of July at the lake and the way my family grows and changes.

We used to laugh about the things he would mail. But now I'm glad I have them. I'm really glad he wrote so much. Pages and pages of stories about his life, about his four daughters, his beautiful wife, about the farm where they grew gladiolas, about his new home in Florida - about old tractors. As random as they were, they always ended with a Love, Papa.

We love you Papa and we know you're up in heaven dancing with your bride. We'll see you soon.