On Memorial day I remember my Papa. My mom’s Dad, my grandfather, and my children’s great grandfather. The man I never really knew, but somehow wish I had. I was only five when I was playing in the front yard of our house in Lone Grove, Oklahoma when my Mom came running outside with tears streaming down her eyes. She gathered me up in our nineteen seventies Ford Courier pick up truck and we made the six hour trip to Brady, Texas. Seeing her cry like that was heart breaking. When she finally told me Papa had died I still think I really didn’t comprehend it until years to follow. To a five year old who didn’t really know the difference between life and death, I was confused. Honestly, I don’t remember much at all about you Papa, perhaps I was too young, or we lived too far away. I don’t remember riding on your broad shoulders, or your massive overworked hands pushing me in a swing. But I’ve heard the stories, the ones that make me wish I knew you when you were around. Your son in law, my Dad, tells me stories all the time. How you could make anything out of nothing, and how you worked so hard to provide for your family. To this day when he speaks of you I can see the little puddles of tears gathering in the corners of his eyes just thinking about you. He still carries your grandfather name, PaPa Joe. Your daughter, my Mom, always seems to smile a little bigger when she tells me about you. She is a “MiMi” to four grandchildren who adore her. Just a couple of days before this memorial day, Mom Dad and I brought my kids to come meet you at your resting place. Being only three and ten months, they’re much too young to understand. Though I will always have the pictures and stories to share with them. To this day I wish I could have heard the stories from your mouth, but we just missed each other. Thank you Sir, we will always remember our PaPa.