My Grandfather(PawPaw) turns 83 later this month. Several of us traveled to the Leatherman homestead in Lincolnton Saturday afternoon to celebrate. MiMi(grandmother,) Mom, Dad, Anna, Uncle Don from Morehead City, and Uncle Lee and Aunt Nancy from Elizabethtown.
I'm not really that close with my grandfather, and not for any particular reason. However, random stories he'd tell over the years along with stories my mother has passed on to me about him have had a huge effect on me. He's such a simple man who needs only his wife and his church to be the happiest man on earth. PawPaw is a methodist minister who has retired three times yet he's still the minister of visitation at First Methodist in Lincolnton. That means he visits folks in the hospital and reads scripture in the service on Sundays. PawPaw has had a few health issues over the last couple of years, and it's starting to take it's toll. He often forgets things and generally doesn't pay much attention to what's going on. Just one example: He was eating an ice cream cone earlier this summer and it was melting quickly since we were outside. Melted ice cream running all over his hands and he had no clue until Mimi told him about it. It's little things you see that indicate his age.
This is quite morbid, but I honestly don't think he's going to live much longer. I've had a couple of odd dreams in the past few months about him. My dreams aren't normally a reliable foreshadowing tool, but it's just a gut feeling I have. As faithful as he is, he's painfully scared of death. He won't even discuss it, not even with Mimi. That's how happy he is. PawPaw used to give his family's grocery money away on a regular basis to someone at his church who needed it more than they did. Mimi would yell at him for it, but he didn't care. Last year, a lady my dad worked with was dying from ALS. She moved to Lincolnton to basically die with her family. One day, PawPaw showed up out of nowhere to visit this lady who he'd never met before. Rebecca really couldn't talk due to her deteriorating condition, but they prayed together and he left 100 bucks he didn't have. It's little things he's done that have had an enormous effect on my daily life. I wish I was more like him. I desperately hope he lives longer so we can get even more thumbs up pictures. Happy Birthday PawPaw.