Yesterday marked the 87th birthday of my papal. The story is told that when he was born a tea cup would fit over his head. He only went to school through the third grade. Him and my grandmother were married for nearly fifty years before cancer took her. I have never seen a man more devoted. He was by her side caring for her, loving her, and being strong through tears until she took her last breath. There was something so moving to me about the tears that flowed freely as he stood by her casket and talked to people at her visitation and funeral. He didn't hide how sad he was. He didn't apologize for being sad. Instead he talked about the amazing woman he was married to, and how "if she didn't go to heaven ain't nobody going."
If you met him you might describe him as a man of few words. But his heart more than makes up for it. He loves Andy Griffith, and the movie The Fox and The Hound. He likes to eat cornbread and milk. He believes Sundays are for rest. After smoking for probably around 40-50 years he stopped cold turkey. He would give you the shirt off of his back if you needed it. He is the father of six, grandfather of 18, great-grandfather of 25, and great-great grandfather of one (if all my math is correct). One of the coolest things about him, he still works; 5-1/2 days a week. I had the amazing blessing of being able to live with him for a small chunk of time, and I knew that if I grew up and married someone half as amazing as him I would be okay.
My papal, Abigail, and I at her first Christmas.
Jason got to meet my papal the summer before we started dating. I wouldn't realize until a little while later that their birthday fell just two days apart. Tomorrow I will celebrate my husband turning 31. I can say that I married a man whom I think runs a pretty close race with how great my papal is.
Jason provides for our family because it is important to him (and me) that I get to be at home with our daughter. He doesn't just provide by having a job, he pours over our finances to figure out where to allocate each dollar to so that we are making the wisest choices. He walks to work everyday so that we only need one car. He comes home at night and helps with dishes, housework, and gives me nights out. He does an amazing job loving and caring for both Abigail and me.
I don't know if I could ever put into words how much he means to me. My life is full of laughter, wisdom, and the best friend anyone could ask for all because he is in it. I hope that we will get to celebrate our 50th anniversary together in 44 years, and that his grandchildren will say of him the same things that I say of my papal.
The hottie I get to spend the rest of my life with.
Happy birthday to two of my favorite men,