POWERFUL FOLLOWERS

Saturday, June 14, 2014

HAPPY FATHER'S DAY G.E.

FOR MY DADDY...
HAPPY FATHER'S DAY

I was his Possum or Sugar. 
He was my buddy, my church choir partner, and at times 
my partner in crime. 
The one who tossed me in the air
until I lost my breath giggling; 
the one who taught me
to ride a bike,
but who lacked the patience 
for teaching me to drive. 
He was the one who brought me home, Pinky, 
a tiny puppy
hiding in his coat pocket.
He was the one whose heart
was broken the deepest
when my mama had a severe stroke,
he was the one who loved her
no matter what,
and helped me care for her
for 15 years.

But he was the one who left us first. 
He was my daddy. 
He was number 6
in a row of 10 children,
he followed Harold in that row,
and followed him always.

He was George Erwin,
named after a Methodist preacher,
who later became a Missionary in China. Years later, after learning about my daddy through a conversation
with another Methodist preacher,
that missionary's son
called me to inquire
about his daddy's namesake. 

He grew up farming,
with only an 11th grade education. However, he made sure I received more education than I'll ever use. 

He joined the army and served in WWII, mostly in the Philippines.
He came home,
and met Jan at a dance in 1951.
He saw her across the room and said, "That's the one I'm going to marry." And he did. 
He was so nervous on the day they wed, he caught a box of matches on fire, because he forgot 
to close the box before striking. 
Later, he would say she lit his fire.
That was the first sign that his true adventure was about to begin.
He fathered three children, 
gave them love and a fine raising. 
He loved the small town he lived in for over 40 years, 
but he loved more the smaller town where he grew up. 

He delivered Merita Bread 
and then sold groceries wholesale 
for over 30 years. 
Traveling the back roads of Georgia, making friends and making a fine name for himself.

He retired and then went back to work at the same business
for another 10 years,
 but in the role of supervisor. 

He was proud of his boys and of me.
He would sit for hours at
Little League ballgames
just to watch the boys play.
And then he did the same for grandchildren,
except one,
his namesake,
was born after he left us.


He cared for his parents,
an uncle and an aunt.
He always thought of others,
and he always shared his opinionated thoughts on many topics. 

He loved the Lord 
and was loyal to his faith 
and to his church. 
Peavy Methodist Church named him 
Man of the Year 
and in return he gave back by
 "doing the yards", 
heading up Sunday School and being there each time the door opened. 

He loved to keep his yard clean,
no pine cone was safe from him.
He laughed when things
really weren't funny.

He had many friends, but Cliff 
was his life long friend and army buddy.

He left us, 
not knowing who he was or 
where he lived. 
He forgot us, 
but mostly he forgot 
how to be George Erwin. 
Except, I know in his heart, 
he was still tossing me in the air, 
still going to ballgames 
for Yogi and little Yogi, 
still taking care and smiling at Jan...
and still singing in the church choir. 


These pictures are of my Memory Jar for my Daddy...
keys from the warehouse where he worked for all those years,
his pocket knives
and an Atlanta Braves ticket
that he jotted some scores down on.
He was serious about the Braves! 

There are all kinds of little gadgets 
that now live in this jar, 
some I have no idea why he had them.

 There's the scissors 
that he used to touch up his hair,
 and to cut my Grandpapa's hair.
 And there's a rock? 


 I have many other things of my daddy's, his work boots,
his overalls
and even his shaving cup and brush,
but this 
 jar of little trinkets means
the most to me.



Here's his signature on a torn piece of a church bulletin...
look closely on the paper... 
it says
 Father's Day. 
                I love you, and I miss you daddy! 
                          Possum

This was originally published on June 20, 2010

7 comments:

  1. What sweet memories. I lost my father 38 years ago and I still have many sweet memories of my own. One never forgets a good father.

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  2. I must be forgetting to do the word verify, because I posted on this already.


    I love your story so much. You can write, girl. I feel like I know your dad, now. He was a real special man. I like the ordinary things you place in your memory jar and that he called you possum!
    Lezlee

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  3. this is beautifully written x

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  4. Aw. What a precious tribute. Your memory pieces are wonderful. Thanks for sharing this heart warming story.

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  5. Gave you a little shout out...Lez

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