Saturday, June 20, 2009


Father's Day is always mixed feelings for me. My blood father died when I was 10. And I still miss him. And then I have my Papa Jack. Lovely, kind, funny Papa Jack. A blessing for our family. Even my Daddy's family loved him.

Papa Jack is just about 7 years older than I am. There is about 20 years difference between Mother and him. I was in high school when he and Mother began dating. We did not know how old he was, nor he Mother's age until too late. They were in love. It was the talk of the town. The doctor's widow and the young kid eloped. My mother was a hot looking red head. Today she would be called a cougar. But that is another story.

Papa Jack became my stepfather for real. I adore my Papa Jack. My brother and he did not hit it off real well at first, two alpha males staking their territory. But over time that issue has worked out. Jack did not pull rank, but he was there as a father figure. He also was there with the check book for clothes and college expenses.

Papa Jack knocked on car widows and told me to go in the house. He decided I should frost my hair. He thought my skin tones were wrong to have such dark hair. He picked out dresses for me and bought them. He listened to me cry when romance when wrong. He also listened to a lot of temper tantrums.

Papa Jack also taught me how to paint and how to drive a riding lawn mower. When Marty bought a car with a stick shift, guess who saved my marriage and taught me to shift gears. ( never, ever try to learn a stick shift from your husband)

One Christmas I was shopping with him and saw something for Marty. I borrowed the money from Papa Jack. This was when we paid cash for everything. Credit cards were rare and used for emergencies. I didn't know until later, Marty had borrowed money from him the same day to buy my gift. We had the money, just not on us.

Marty asked Jack for permission to marry me. And my Papa gave me away at the wedding. As Mother's children had children, he became Papaw Jack.

He has changed through the years. He had a hot temper and has mellowed out over the years. He was helpless in the kitchen when they married yet now does a lot of the cooking for Mother and him. One of my favorite stories about Jack is when Mother went to help my sister when she had a baby. Mother cooked up lots of food for him including a ham. When Mother came home, everything was still in the fridge. She asked him why didn't you eat the ham? And Jack answered, " You didn't slice it."

One last story about Papa Jack. When they first married he worked for one of the funeral homes. He drove the ambulance and the hearse. He wasn't happy with this as a career choice. One day there was a funeral in the church across the street from our house. He helped carry the body in and then quit in the middle of the funeral. My mother asked why in the middle of a funeral. He said only quit when they need you.

Love you Papa Jack

1 comment:

Hoang Leonard said...

I like your story. Happy Papa Jack's day