Wednesday, August 8, 2012

For my Paw Paw

My great-grandfather, James Frank Slay, left this world on August 1, 2012. He was one in a million and there will never be another like him.

This is his obituary.

It's all true, but there are so many things that an obituary doesn't say about a person. The things that only a family member would know. The memories and moments that you never, ever want to forget. (Such as my great-grandfather was the biggest and strongest male influence I had in my life. Many of you know that my biological father was not in the picture and my step father was not much of one.)

* My great-grandfather was a hard working man. He got up everyday with the sun. If he wasn't working at his barber shop, he was working in his garden or in the fields with his animals. He was always busy and knew the true value of physical labor. He never complained about work and always looked out for more to do. The work ethic he had, I'm afraid is a dying thing.

* He told the most random stories and loved to make us laugh. He would say things like: "Can you do something for me? Go out and brush the ants teeth."

* He always kept peppermint candies on hand. He loved them.

* I remember laughing with him while watching Tom and Jerry.

* He would go every Sunday and get the paper just for me. He would get it because he knew I loved to read the comics. I'll never be able to read or watch Peanuts and not think of him and smile. He started my love of them and many other comic strips.

* He had a love for my great-grandmother that was so beautiful. They didn't always see eye to eye...but watching her by his bedside as he died...would break the stoniest of hearts.

* Sometimes we would visit and as he got older, he couldn't hear as well. It didn't seem to phase him too much. He just seemed so happy to have us visit. He would always say to come back and see him.

* He was the strongest man I know. He used to grab our arms and we would try to "escape." You knew when pawpaw grabbed you, that you weren't getting away so fast. He would laugh and laugh and you couldn't help, but join in. It was his way of giving a hug.

* He loved his little blue truck. When he became too old to drive, he took comfort in riding around on his lawn mower. He was always on the go, as long as he was able.

* Whenever he talked to John he would always tell him about his trip to Bristol, because John is originally from VA. John has heard the story many times, but I think it was so sweet that he found a way to connect with John. I think he thought a lot of him. (Just before he died, John talked with him. This was when he could no longer speak, he recognized John and smiled a huge smile and then one at me. I'll never forget that.)

My paw paw has left this world, but he will never leave my heart. I miss him so much, but can take comfort in knowing that I will see him again one day.


  1. What sweet memories you will always have and treasure. Great post!

  2. I'm so sorry for your loss. He sounds like an amazing man and you certainly have some incredible memories. xoxo

  3. I am so sorry that you lost your grandfather. It is great that you are keeping his memory alive with posting about him.


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