I wrote this the day my Pappaw (my Grandpa) passed away and read it at his memorial service…
To the Man in the Pink Tutu:
To the Man in the Pink Tutu: who taught all those surrounding him how to live life with zeal, energy and never take oneself too seriously. This was evident in you getting up on stage in front of a crowd of hundreds at Disney World, donning a pink tutu and performing ballet, causing a ripple effect of roaring laughter across the room.
To the Man in the Pink Tutu: who took his Fontana Five on granddaughter dates out to dinner to educate them on the art of shooting spit balls, to watch their faces light up at the movie theatre watching the newest Disney movies, and to end the night with all foods that are horrible to one’s health, but delicious to the taste buds and energy for the soul. As you would say, “You only live once”.
To the Man in the Pink Tutu: who though may have nearly gotten kicked out at numerous basketball games for shouting at Refs to “get their eyes checked” or “where are your glasses, Ref?”, I never once wondered whether you would have my back or support me both on the court and off the court.
To the Man in the Pink Tutu: who may not have influenced me in the realm of football team loyalties, but who did impress upon me the goodness of the Los Angeles Lakers.
To the Man in the Pink Tutu: who instructed me in basketball, tennis, volleyball and a plethora of other sports, and managed to still take us young’ens “to school” on the basketball court late in life.
To the Man in the Pink Tutu: who always was eager to share a grand story to a captive audience. Perhaps one of my favorites was the story of you being laid up from surgery when you were about 13 and Nanny sent you flowers, but she went out on a date with your best friend while you were bed-bound. But the part that stuck with me most from that story was the fact you said it didn’t bother you all that much because you knew you would marry her someday. And the love between you two has never been at question, for your marriage has always been one of the greatest examples to me of what a selfless, patient, kind, Godly marriage should look like, demonstrating to one another the kind of love that never fails.
To the Man in the Pink Tutu: who served our country in the Navy and taught me what it is to show patriotism and respect, and show gratitude to those who serve.
To the Man in the Pink Tutu: who exemplified a man of integrity and honesty.
To the Man in the Pink Tutu: who showed me what it is to be a warrior and never let health situations stand in the way of living life to its utmost fullest, to persevere through health troubles I’ve already encountered and any that I may have to endure in the future.
To the Man in the Pink Tutu: who loved others of all ages, shapes, sizes, abilities and personalities—the one nicknamed as Santa Claus by many of my friends not only due to your white beard, but because of your jolly, contagious, dynamic, fun-loving personality.
To the Main in the Pink Tutu: who educated me on quick wit, humor and spunk. Perhaps we may exhibit these three characteristics in a far greater dose than many would prefer at times, but you always backed me up and always encouraged my independence and spunk. You demonstrated what it means to have a back-bone and stick up for what is right.
To the Man in the Pink Tutu: who introduced me to peppers that may burn the skin off of my fingers, but somehow are delightfully edible and delectable.
To the Man in the Pink Tutu: who mirrored what a man of God looks like, and one who is a loving, caring, loyal, faithful and one-of-a-kind husband, brother, father, uncle, grandfather, great grandfather and friend.
To the Man in the Pink Tutu: the one who was not only my grandfather, but a friend who always was there to listen and laugh.
To the Man in the Pink Tutu: I know you will be looking down with a smile on your face to fulfill my dream to have you at my wedding someday, and a glance at the groom which says “Don’t mess up”.
To the Man in the Pink Tutu: who displayed what it means to life a life for Christ until the end, to pray on all occasions, and to live in repentance and surrender to our Lord and Savior. You demonstrated that without Him, we are without purpose, and with Him we can do all things through Him who gives us strength. You daily breathed to life the meaning of Philippians 3:13-14: ”But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”
To the Man in the Pink Tutu: your energy and love for life lives on inside each one of us. I assume you are already playing basketball on courts of gold, or enjoying a scrumptious feast with our sweet Lord, and someday I will come to join you again. But until then, I praise the Lord you are home with Him, where there is no more pain and no more suffering.
To the Man in the Pink Tutu: Thank you for sharing life with me. I love you…always and forever, Pappaw.
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