"Try not to become a man of success, but rather try to become a man of value." ~Albert Einstein
I can still see him...
Black haired and bright eyed and beautiful sitting on his lap...
Kicked back in the recliner, he and his PawPaw spent most every Sunday afternoon from the day the boy was born until that dreaded day he became too much for Paw Paw to handle.
From that point on, he had to take a seat at the end of the sofa.
Mind you, that seat was, and still is, closest to Paw Paw's recliner.
Today, that recliner sits alone, the days of Paw Paw filing it, becoming a memory.
When I tell you I was literally forced to fight the child when it was time to leave is putting it mildly...
The boy didn't want to come home.
Somewhere, in his little three year old mind, Paw Paw WAS home...
His dad and I were just a little irritation he had to endure until it was time to go back to my parents.
It was in that recliner they solved the worlds problems...
Talked about which teams were going to the Superbowl...
What they wanted to eat for supper...
About the love of Jesus...
And, how to repair a lawnmower.
His eyes were always captivated by the Mason ring on his Paw Paw's right hand.
"Paw Paw, can I wear your ring?," he'd ask each time.
"No, baby, this ring is too big for you. I can't let you lose it. I've got plans for this ring one day," was always the usual reply.
"It sure is pretty, Paw Paw," he'd say in amazement.
"You like that ring, baby?"
"I sure do."
"One day, I'll let you wear it. But, not today, ok?"
Of course, he NEVER argued with his Paw Paw and just,somehow, seemed to understand, and would let it go.
Until the next time.
The love between that boy and that little old man amazes me.
The two of them, honestly, can be the two most stubborn people in the world.
Somehow, they just bring out the best in each other.
I watched the boy tear up in frustration five years ago when I had to sit him down and teach him two new words...
Over the months it took us to accept, I watch Paw Paw's "baby" become his Paw Paw's "buddy".
They faced the illness together, the two of them...
The boy turning into Paw Paw's legs...
Yes, that recliner full of all the memories sits empty today.
Its former occupant now resides down the street with 109 of the most beautiful people on earth.
It was there we found my mother today to celebrate Mothers Day.
As we walked with them back to Paw Paw's room after lunch, a moment of realization hit him...
The boy and his sister stayed behind, as Grandma and I were sent to the house on a mission and dared not return until it was complete.
When we got back, precious cargo in hand, I called the two of them from the room, as Grandma entered to deliver the package.
As we walked back in, the boy heard these words, "So, big week this week, huh?"
"Yes, sir." The boy answered.
As he handed the boy a little red velvet bag, his Paw Paw said to him, "Well, let's see if this is big enough to make it too big, how 'bout it?"
I saw that boys eyes squint, half-confused, half-knowing in disbelief, as he reached for the bag and answered him, "Ok."
As he opened the bag, frantic to get the tissue paper out of his way, he could only stare at it as he pulled up a golden ring with a red stone with the letter "G" inscribed in gold.
"Oh, Paw Paw, thank you. It's perfect."
"I told you I had plans for that ring, didn't I, son?"
"Yes, sir, you sure did," He responded through teary eyes.
We all knew he had big plans...
Grandpa told us so.