One year ago today, we laid my Papaw to rest.

     I remember at the hospital, holding his hand, praying, and preparing to say the final goodbye, though I knew my words only reached his spirit. Long hours passed, and I kept turning his life over in my mind. Specifically, his part in mine.

     The prior year, his words of encouragement about my writing touched me in a way no one else could. He wasn’t one to hand out compliments, just not his style. I knew he meant them from the depths of his heart most people never saw.

     Through the process of funeral preparations, I knew I had to write something special. I’d promised him as much.

     I hope this is an encouragement to you. Maybe help you cry a few tears you’ve suppressed too long.

     “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.” Matt. 5:4 NKJV



Everyone needs a cowboy in their life to tell the stories of riding the range. Tall tales of the way things used to be with just enough truth to reserve a memory in one’s heart.

Everyone needs a cowboy. You were mine.

Everyone needs a comic in their life to bring bright rays of light even in the saddest of times. One who, with a few words, can bring tears to your eyes from laughter.

Everyone needs a comic. You were mine.

Everyone needs a friend in their life to share an inside joke. A special thing that belongs to no other but you and him. Something that cuts an unusual path into your heart.

Everyone needs a friend. You were mine.

Everyone needs an elder in their life. Someone to remind of where you came from and of the heritage given you. One who will tell you, without words, to be proud of your Choctaw blood.

Everyone needs an elder. You were mine.

Everyone needs a loved one waiting for them on the shores of Heaven. Someone who will show you around the place when your time comes. One to reserve a spot for you close to the throne.

Everyone needs a loved one in Heaven. You are mine.

Everyone needs a Papaw in their life to love and be loved by. One to call you a corny nickname, and say you are gifted. A Papaw whose voice will ring true for all the years to come.

Everyone needs a Papaw. You are mine.