My Purpose• My name is Haley Griffin and I chose to do my multigenre project on the death of my Papaw. He was a very important and special person in my life. His death did not only affect me, it affected my entire family. He was the glue to our family and we did not realize that until he was gone. The purpose of this project was to allow me to reflect on the life of my Papaw and the events of the day that I will never forget. My intended audience is my family. I want them to remember the good that he brought to our family.
May 25, 2004Dear Diary,Today my life changed and it was not for the better. My family lost an important memberand I don’t think that things will ever be the same. My Papaw left us tonight, he passedaway due to a heart attack and it was very unexpected. I have cried and cried, but at thesame time I tried to comfort those that were around me, especially my cousin Stacey.The other members of our family were pretty focused on our Mamaw, which is to beexpected because that was her husband. A few family friends showed up at the hospitalout of respect and to help support us, which I thought was extremely generous. As I sit here and think about the past, I think about all the good times that my papawand I shared. He taught me a lot, like how to mow and how to love; he always knew howto make me laugh. I will miss watching the Price is Right with him and trying to guess theprice of all the prizes. He always joked that he would take me to California so we couldsit in on a showing. I will also miss him taking vacations with my parents and I. I can’timagine going into that house and him not being there. I will miss the sounds of himcoming down the hall with change in his pocket and the goofy looks he would makewhen he would sneak up on me and try to scare me. He was a very special person whomI loved dearly and I will miss him a lot. --Haley
Dear Papaw, I want to start out by saying I miss you a lot! It seems like so much has happened since you passed. Staceyand I have both graduated high school. I chose to go to Surry Community College for two years before making themove to a four-year university. I chose to go to UNC-Charlotte just like Stacey though. We lived in the same apartmentcomplex, but not the same apartment. My apartment was right above hers though, which was awesome! I feel a littlelost since she graduated last May. She got a second grade-teaching job at a school near her house. I am supposed tograduate next December and I hope that I can find a school near to my house too, teaching either kindergarten, first,or second grade. I don’t mow the field anymore; soon after you passed, Mamaw decided to hire someone to mow theyard; apparently it was hard to keep up. I was a little upset about it because in the previous letter I wrote I told youthat I would keep mowing it for you. I really got angry when she started selling all your stuff. I know that I don’t havethe relationship with her that I should, but I am very bitter toward her; I think she sold your stuff too soon and it wasjust to get money. I met a great guy; his name is Brandon. I wish that you could have met him; I think that you twowould have really hit it off. I wish that you were still here. I feel like things were so much simpler when you were here.You were always in a good mood and it was contagious. The family isn’t the same since you left and holidays arenowhere near as fun. The first Christmas was terrible. Stacey and I tried to be the life of the party and keep everyone’sspirits up, but it was almost pointless. The second Christmas was a little better. Just as me and Stacey were walkingthrough the living room into the kitchen a musical bear started playing. We both looked at each other and cried; wecouldn’t help but thinking that you were there with us that Christmas. As I continue to grow up and get older I thinkabout all the things that you are missing. You missed Stacey and I getting our license, graduating high school andStacey graduating college. You will also miss me graduating college and both of us getting married. I know that you arewatching over us, but I can’t help but wish you were down here with us to experience all of our triumphs with us. I loveand miss you. Love, Haley
What are some of the things that Papaw taught you?Papaw taught me how to be a kind person. He was so nice to everyone he ran into; hehad friends everywhere. If you did not know him, you would by the time you left. Iremember when Mamaw and Papaw use to take us to Tweetsie Railroad. You and Iwould be on a ride and look over and see Papaw talking to someone. We would ask whoit was and he would say, “I don’t know, I just started talking.” That was always so typicalof him. He was such a sweet and caring man. He also taught me how to play Rook. Iremember the nights that we used to spend that night down there and we would playRook for hours. He taught me how to keep score and how to play the game. That is agame that I still love to this day and I think about him every time I play it. He also taughtme simple things like how to make deviled eggs, play croquet, and feed squirrels. He alsotaught me important things like how to laugh at yourself, how to be a people person,and how to love.What were some of your favorite activities to do together?I enjoyed playing Rook with him; he was so funny. He would always make silly faces if hehad the Rook. Sometimes he would get aggravated with Mamaw if she didn’t play theright card, but the way he did it was funny. I liked listening to him tell his stories aboutdriving cars for Foothill Ford. Sometimes I had no idea what he was talking about, but Icould tell that he really enjoyed driving those cars and he loved to tell the stories of hisday. It was just nice to be able to spend time with him. He always had something goingon. I remember when you and I would put on our Christmas program for the family wewould spend hours decorating the Piano room; we wanted it to be a surprise so wewould put signs on the doors that said “KEEP OUT,” but he never stayed out he had tosee what was going on. It was always fun to watch him play pin the nose on Rudolphbecause he never got close and we would all just laugh. My favorite thing to do withPapaw was to play outside. It didnt matter what he was doing I just loved playing withyou and knowing he was right there with us. He would watch us ride in our Barbie jeep,ride bikes, play ball, blow us up a swimming pool or join us in a round of croquet. At thetime everything was taken for granted, but looking back I realize how spoiled rotten wereally were.
What do you miss most about him?What I miss most is spending time with him. I was only thirteen when hepassed away and that just isn’t much time. I miss going down there to playRook with him and Mamaw and I miss his stories. I miss the way the housewould smell when he got finished taking his shower and I miss hearing thechange rattle in his pocket when he was coming down the hall. There are somany things that remind me of him and I miss him everyday. He alwayscalled us gal or doodlebug. When I hear someone else say that I willoccasionally turn my head and look for him. Another thing that I miss mostabout him is feeling his hugs and seeing his smile. His hugs were the bestand he always smelled like "papaw". I miss him everyday.How would you describe him?I would describe him as a very caring, funny, loving, Christian man, who sera great example for his family. He loved the Lord with all his heart and heloved going to church. He would always get dressed up in his Sunday bestand go to church on Sunday. He loved to listen to gospel music too and hehad several gospel records. Like I said, he made friends everywhere hewent and he wasn’t a stranger to very many people. I would describe him asa man who never met a stranger. A man who had the most positive outlookon life and who loved with his WHOLE heart. He never took life tooseriously and he would do anything to make you laugh. He was loved byeveryone! He was an amazing husband, dad, papaw, and friend toeveryone! He loved taking trips to Dollywood and he loved anything Ford.
What kind of impact did he make in your life?I love him very much and as I said I miss him everyday. He taught me somuch during our time together. I believe that he was the glue to the familyand since he has passed, the family isn’t nearly the same and sadly neitherare the holidays. I don’t think we realized what he did for our family andwhat he brought to the table. He always had a joke and he could makeanyone laugh. Things will never be the same without him.I would love forhim to be here with us now, when life gets stressful, I think that he wouldtruly help in easing the stress. He made a huge impact on my life. He wasprobably the best person I have ever met. Losing him is by far the hardestthing I have ever been through. He was the sunshine in our family and whenhe died its like the clouds have been out ever since. He will forever be inmy heart and I will always be his "gal".What are some items you think of when you think of Papaw?Items that I will always associate with Papaw: Circus Peanuts, Brown Mules,Deviled Eggs, False Teeth, RJReynolds (gold tobacco leaf), WWF wrestling,rook, croquet, selling candybars (fun raisers), Ford, brown bedroom shoes,Tweetsie RR, Dollywood, $1 bills, the quarter collection and Brad Paisleys"When I get where Im going."
It started out as a normal day; I went to school, came home, finished my homework and spent timewith my parents. It was 9:00pm and I was ready for bed. I went upstairs to brush my teeth and getready to turn in for the night. I signed onto Yahoo Instant Messenger for just a few minutes and Iheard the phone ring. I did not have a good feeling about the phone call because it was rather late.My mom burst into the room and said, “we’ve got to go, it’s your Papaw;” I knew by the look on herface that it was not good. I happened to be chatting with my best friend at that time and I told herwhat was happening. The summer before we were on vacation with my parents when my Papawhad a heart attack and we had to come home early; he was not doing well and the doctors had toshock him four times in order to revive him. I knew that she would be understanding and wouldprobably would want to know what was going on because we were practically attached at the hip.My mom and I hopped in the car and drove the nine hundred feet to my grandparent’s house. Mydad had ran down there ahead of us. He attempted to give his own dad CPR to no avail. My momwent in to see what was going on and I was told to stay outside. The night air was crisp and I felt soalone; I just wanted everything to be ok. After what felt like decades, the paramedics arrivedturning the sky a gloomy shade of red. I was hoping that they would be able to do something! Iremember one of the lady EMT’s stopping to talk to me. I was wondering why she was talking; sheshould be working! She was extremely sweet though; she told me that they were going to bring himout and put him in the ambulance and that I should probably step around the corner of the house. Iwas on the phone a lot in those thirty-minutes, but it seemed like hours. I called my best friend totell her what had happened in more detail; she and her mom arrived about twenty minutes later. Wehugged and she made me laugh for a few minutes; she was always good at doing that. She has sucha great personality. My mom broke the news to my dad’s other siblings, but I kept them updated onwhere we were going and such. I remember one of my aunt’s, the one who lived the closet, arrivingon two wheels and when she stepped out of the car we hugged for a very long time….
After Papaw was loaded we all stepped in the house to gather a few things and that was when Isaw Mamaw. She was very solemn and weeping. I really had no idea what to say to her so I justblurted out “I’m so sorry Mamaw.” Was that supposed to help? No, it was just something to say tofeel the eerie silence in the house that I use to love spending time at. I would never look at thathouse the same way again. My mom, dad, aunt, Mamaw, and I piled into the car and followed theambulance to the hospital. We arrived at the hospital and were led through an antiseptic smellinghallway to a private waiting room. Again, after what felt like decades the nurse stepped in andconfirmed what we already knew, “ I’m sorry, but there was nothing that we could do.” We sat insilence and cried. I had a small ray of hope that everything would be ok and that he would pullthrough this just like he had before. Everything after that was kind of a blur. I remember my cousinand her family arriving, they live about an hour away from where the hospital is located, so it tookthem a while to get there. It was probably best that they did not have to hear the news in person. Ihugged my cousin for a long time; she was very upset. I tried to make her laugh; I can be awkwardin situations like these because I just don’t know what to do. Some of the family went back to seePapaw, my cousin and I opted out of that. We wanted to remember him in a different way, not likethat. A few friends of my dad showed up at the hospital to help support us all and I thoughr thatwas very sweet of them. One of them took my mom, Stacey, and myself home so we could get somerest. Although it had only been a few hours since we received that call, we were drained. I wantedto go to bed and cry myself to sleep and that was exactly what I did.
Deviled EggsIngredients• 1 dozen eggs• Mayonnaise• Vinegar• Salt• Pepper• Paprika DirectionsStart out by boiling the eggs. When the eggs have finished boiling,run cold water over the egg and then peel the outer shell off the egg.Cut the eggs in half and take out the yolk. Mash all the yolk up andthen add mayonnaise. While mixing, add a couple of drops of vinegarand salt and pepper to taste. Mix the ingredients until creamy. Placethe yolk back in the egg and then top with paprika.
When our family would gather together for the holidays deviled eggswere always on the menu. I was lucky because I lived just across theroad from Papaw, so I could go down there whenever I wanted. Iloved going down there to help Mamaw and Papaw get everythingready for the get together. I would help Papaw with the deviledeggs. After he was finished (and when Mamaw wasn’t looking) wewould clean the plate and the spoon. As simple as that sounds, it issomething I will remember about him because it was our little secret.