Going through old family pictures can bring a smile to your face, or tears to your eyes. Sometimes both. I've been looking through the pictures my Momma gave me and I've found a great many pictures of my Daddy. And I have had smiles and tears looking at them.
My Daddy was a great man.
Daddy, Momma, David, Joyce, Shelia and Larry
In my mind's eye I can still see my Daddy, walking in front of me and Momma and my oldest brother. His white t-shirt bobbed along in the dusk of the evening, as he carried my baby brother home. Summer evenings were spent on my grandparent's porch, until the robins called to each other from the yard and the trees. It was their bedtime, and it was getting close to ours. Daddy always walked a few feet ahead of us, watching out for a car coming over the hill, or a rock or hole in the road we might stumble upon. He was always watching out for Momma, and watching out for his kids, even after we were grown. And then he watched out for his grandkids. And then his great-grandkids.
After I married and made my own home, he would call me daily, sometimes three or four times a day, sometimes while I was at work, just to see how my day was going, just because I was on his mind, just because he loved me.
Sometimes he would tell me of a good deal he'd gotten at the store that morning. He always appreciated a good deal. Or he'd tell me what he and Momma were going to do that day.
His wit was proof of a razor-sharp,keen intelligence. If you were around my Daddy for just a little while, you'd laugh because he had a different way of looking at life. And he could solve any problem using good common sense. He always worked hard, but was never one to follow money. He was content with Momma, his kids and a comfortable home. We never went without.
What he had could not be bought. He had the good simple life down to an art form.
Oh, but I can still see him, walking in front of us, carrying the least one of us, and watching out for all of us. He did that up until his last breath.
He has gone a few steps ahead of us, to a place where we all must go. I miss him so much and I can't write any more about that. It hurts too much.
I treasure this picture of my Daddy. He loved to work in the yard and could grow anything.
The sweet-looking little boy in the front is Daddy. The older boy is his brother, my Uncle Buddy. To Daddy's right is his sister Imogene. His sisters Robbie and Glenna are in the back. Two younger sisters, Mary Lynn and Carolyn Sue are yet to be born. These children were scattered like kittens from a box after their mother died. The two youngest girls were raised by an aunt, and the others found homes where they could. Daddy found a home with his Aunt Molly Lively. My cousin Lloyd Lively said he can still remember seeing Daddy walking to their house. He was just a little boy then, maybe 8 or 9, looking for a place to live. I have but a few memories of Aunt Mollie, but I love her for taking my Daddy in and giving him a home and love.
Me, Daddy and Larry in May 1964
This picture was taken after my Aunt Glenna's funeral. In the front are my aunts, Mary Lynn, Carolyn Sue and Robbie. Glenna's husband Uncle Robert, my Daddy and Uncle Buddy in the back. Daddy and Buddy were not only brothers, but best friends.
Even though they didn't really share a normal childhood together, they kept in touch and talked to each other a lot. They loved each other. The five sisters and two brothers, who were scattered like kittens from a box, are all gone now.
But, I can still see my Daddy, walking in front of us...watching out for us.......