I don’t write that many personal posts. But this picture is my grandfather, and today would have been his 87th birthday. His name was Richard, and he was 84 when he died. I consider myself very fortunate to have had him in my life for 34 years. You see, he had a massive heart attack in Jan. 1965, his lips were turning blue when he arrived in the hospital emergency room, and doctors later told him 5 years would be a long life. For the majority of my childhood, he was the closest thing to a father in my life. My love of books, and of history come directly from him. Holidays would find the two of us sitting in the living room watching CNN (I am not kidding), and we used to have these wonderful discussions over world events. 

Alzheimer’s robbed me of him long before he was truly gone from this earth. The last “good” conversation I had with him was 3 years ago today, on his last birthday. I arrived at the nursing home about an hour before the rest of the family, and he and I talked. We actually talked a bit about what was happening in Libya at that time, and he actually still remembered who Qaddaffi was. 

If he were living today, I’m certain we would have a lively discussion on the missing plane and the events in Ukraine right now. 

This is without a doubt in my mind the person who shaped me into who I am today. So happy 87th birthday in Heaven, Papaw, hope you and your brother are both enjoying your day!

(One of my grandfather’s younger brothers was born on his 12th birthday. His response when someone asked him about it, “I guess it’s alright, but we didn’t need another one.”)