Monday, May 23, 2005

Tribute To My Granddad

I was given the task of writing a tribute on behalf of all my Grandfather's grandchildren. Below is what I wrote.

We, collectively, the grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and even great great grandchildren have had amazing and wonderful opportunities. We have lived in distant places from Guam to London. We gave received degrees and scholarships from universities and graduate schools. Some have received recognition and honors for service to our country. Many of us have received medals, awards, and trophies for excellence in scholastics, sports, and our various vocations. But there will never be a greater honor than being the grandchild of Thomas Mosley, Sr., or PáPá (PawPaw), as we liked to call him.

I believe the children are our future
Teach them well and let them lead the way
Show them all the beauty they possess inside
Give them a sense of pride…

We all know the words to the song but PáPá lived by them. All of PáPá’s grandchildren were told at some point in time that “You’re smart,” or “You’re cute,” or “You’re cool,” these phrases were usually followed by a “Ain’t ya?” As in, “You’re good, ain’t ya?” And when Granddaddy said it, you always believed it because he believed it. His love and approval was usually accompanied by a hug, a kiss, or a smile (teeth were optional). His humor, which was brilliant and infectious, was always available if you needed it.

This man that once worked in Kentucky coal mines; and bragged about riding untamed horses; would be overcome with emotion and his eyes would be filled with tears when one of his grandchildren got married, or received straight A’s on their report card; or graduated from kindergarten. He was fiercely proud of all his grandbabies aged 0 to 38. There is not one of us that wasn’t personally indebted to the man. His charity, loyalty, and dedication built a better world for all of us.

Everybody’s searching for a hero…

Maya Angelou said that our heroes are found in our neighborhoods and families. PáPá was a hero to all of us, each in our own way. All of us have volumes of personal stories with PáPá but collectively we have BBQs, Christmas breakfasts, and the greatest love of all, which PáPá gave as a gift to all of us. That love will be with us always. We will travel home with it. And it will comfort us through this hard time because we’re going to miss him so much.