As I wrote the beginning and ending dates of this great man's life, the gravity of his passing floods me with memories. This week has been a reflection of the past, of his life he lived long and well that was filled with challenges, love, hard work, laughter, and sometimes even sadness. A life that molded my own with the love and support he always provided for his family. He filled a void in my life and was as much a father to me as he was a grandfather. He was a constant source of stability. I remember fondly pawpaw picking me up from school with The smell of Jovan musk surrounding him, his big band on the radio, the CB police scanner in the background, and him asking me about my day. Those sweet memories- I will never forget. He was my rock, my protector, my personal lap to crawl upon, my favorite story teller, my larger than life itself hero.
He was from one of the greatest generations, he was never boastful or bragging but solid and humble. One of my very favorite stories did not occur until I was in my 20s. I was flipping through a police album and came across a picture of he and Martin Luther king, jr. It was the arranged arrest of MLK when he allegedly wrote the infamous letter from a Birmingham jail. Two men from the same era, one trying to change the world, one assigned to protect him. What an image that has burned into my mind. I laughed after I saw it and said, "yeah think you could've told me about this? I could've made A's on all my English papers with this photo and story!!" He just said aww, "I was just doing my job." (So humble) I could talk for hours about his life or at least the parts he shared with me, but for now I think I'll just let the sweet memories keep filling my heart knowing that he is sending them to me from heaven.