Some of the hardest days of my life were also the sweetest.
It’s the simple things I crave. Life is so busy with so many distractions. We have the world at our fingertips. With the touch of a button we can connect to people all over the world. We go-go-go and don’t have time to stop and enjoy the beautiful free things God created. We are always looking for more. For better. And to be forever entertained.
We forget to stop….and smell the roses…or to stop and breathe. We hurry past those we love explaining we have to be somewhere in five minutes. We are a busy world. Too busy.
When I was a young girl the world moved at a much slower pace. The days I spent with my Papa where some of my greatest memories. My world revolved around him. He taught me so much about life. I’d crawl out of bed early to the sweet smell of Papa’s biscuits and gravy with a side of bacon or sausage. Papa was fun and a hard worker. There was no place on earth I’d rather have been besides standing right next to my Papa in his little Datsun or Toyota truck with my hand on his shoulder as we drove all over God’s creation. Seat belts weren’t required and we traveled at much slower rates of speed. I loved spending my days with him…working in the garden, crawdad fishing, gathering pecans, eating banana taffy, pouring peanuts in our cokes that we drank from the old fashioned bottles, feeding the baby calves, going to the sale barn, playing with the goats and endless sweetness. He was forever entertained by us grandkids…trying to catch the chickens or being chased by a rooster or the geese. The goats were named after people – ex family members. He was a mess. A fun and great mess. He loved the electric fence and watching us kids get constantly shocked by it. He would sit and laugh and watch as we accidently grabbed the electrical wire and got the shock of our lives. We would squeal and carry on. He’d have the biggest grin. He once filled a bucket with frogs and flipped off the electricity to the house so all of us kids would run out of the house. As we ran out of the house screaming and carrying on, he was calmly sitting in a chair acting like he had no clue what was going on. We all gathered around Papa and took any seat we could find. One of us, I can’t remember who – sat on that bucket of frogs. The frogs started jumping and hitting someone’s rump. They squealed. We all squealed and ran around in craziness. Papa just sat grinning with his beautiful joyful grin. His kids – our parents were forever saying “Daddy!!!!” His pranks were endless…the mongoose cages, pulling a quarter or bubble gum from our ears, dressing up and hiding in old abandoned houses and waiting for us kids so he could scare us. We all adored him. He would give us twenty five cents to rub his feet or his head. He wasn’t a perfect man but in my eyes – he was one of the greatest. I slept between him and my Nanny most of my childhood. I loved my Nanny too. I was safe. It was my favorite place on earth. He was the light in my dark world.
Ironically, those were also some of the most difficult times for me as a young girl. We spent some of our days/nights dealing with mother’s addiction. Those were the days when Papa woke me up early because Mother was in jail and we had go bail her out. Or she hadn’t come home all night and we drove around to all the known hangouts and drug houses searching for her. Papa had been a police chief before he retired. I know the tragedy of mother’s addiction had to be so hard for him as well. My Papa was a brightness in those dark days. His brightness and joy overshadowed the ugly. If it hadn’t been for him and his sweet ways during those early years – I might have had a much different future. He made life fun in the most simple things and ways.
I didn’t have my mother or father…so God gave me Nanny and Papa and so many others who loved me, prayed for me and showed me better.
God strategically places people and things in our lives. Sometimes we are so busy or so focused on what we don’t have that we miss the sweetness he sends our way. God is good all the time and all the time God is good. Focus on the simple joys.
Those days are gone. My boys didn’t know the world like I did…good and bad. My boys never got a chance to know my Papa. He died when I was 13. They would have loved him and he would have loved them. I would give anything for my boys and husband to spend a day with my Papa. I would love to spend just one more day with him.
My favorite days are the simple ones. The ones that most remind me of my Papa and his sweet simple loving ways and when the world moved at a much slower pace. My favorites are the days where we cook a big breakfast, spend time together as a family, windows open with a cool breeze, enjoying the beautiful outdoors, laughing at really dumb stuff, never wasting those precious minutes….being totally free from schedules, from makeup and worldly demands. The days we are free to just laugh, spend time together and enjoy the most precious commodity of all – time – are my favorite. The best things in life are free. Jesus paid the ultimate price for all of us. God created the greatest beauty in the world.
Enjoy the sweetness and the simple things. Slow down. Breathe. Don’t miss the beauty because you are so busy being distracted. Time passes way too quickly and it’s the greatest commodity of all.
You have the power to be the light in someone’s darkness, to be a blessing and change someone’s world…will you?