Today was the first annual Papa Day, a holiday that I created for everyone in my family to devote the day to the memory of my grandfather. What better day to have it than on my grandfather’s birthday, October 10th. 10/10? And that’s such a fitting date for him to be born, because he truly was a 10 out of 10.
The ideal Papa Day: wake up bright and early to have a cup of coffee and have a slow start to the morning. Then, make an elaborate breakfast spread that isn’t complete without Papa’s biscuits. At some point in the day, spend time outside. Any work you do, work harder and give it your all. Spend time with family, and for dinner, have field food (black eyed peas, collard greens, cornbread etc).
This year, Trey and I woke up and with the help of my mom over FaceTime, made my very first attempt at my Papa’s biscuits. Somehow, pretty much only two people in the world know how to make these (and there’s no recipe since he would never measure anything and just go by the feel of it). It turns out that I am just like everyone else and my biscuits were pretty disastrous. Though they were supposed to be fluffy, light, and pillowy…my biscuits were dry, angry, flat and crackly. But, Trey and I listened to Christmas music and had fun nonetheless. Then, we just spent time together. We watched a movie, ventured outside for a bit, and since we were both off work today, we came home and rested some more.
Having an annual Papa Day isn’t going to help any of us miss him any less. I miss his hugs, the smell of his pipe tobacco, and the sound of the tobacco pouch crinkling in his shirt pocket when I hugged him. I miss the sound of his voice and his rich laughter. I miss watching him watch someone as they spoke - really listening to what they were saying. I miss the comfort of just knowing that he was around. I miss him calling me his “Sadie”, I was never “Sarah” to him. I miss the way he combed his hair. I miss every.single.thing. I miss it all. But…very recently I noticed that my mom has his eyes. The shape. The color. I also noticed that my older brother hugs just like him, and I like to watch him while he watches someone speak - because he really listens, too.
I feel that having this day set aside every year is going to be healing for my family. I feel that it will give all of us the opportunity to take a minute to stop and just relish the memory of him. We’ll be able to acknowledge and appreciate all of the ways that we are like him, and we can move forward into the rest of the year, feeling just a little bit lighter.
So, Papa Day was a success. I know that somewhere in AL, my family members are having field food right now. I’m going to go cuddle my husband, have another cup of coffee, and look for a house to buy. Hug tighter, listen harder, and nestle yourself way down deep into the moments that you have with the people around you. XO.