On September 8, 2010, at 8:15 am my Papaw died. He was 61 and had been married to my Mamaw for 42 years. My Papaw had just dropped off my cousin, Chase, at school when on the way home some sort of medical problem killed him and he rear-ended an 18 wheeler. While I know he is in a much better place, the past four days have been hard. I want to always remember the good, however, which is the purpose of this.

I was always Papaw’s little monkey. I was the first grandchild and I am constantly told the story of him walking around, holding me just saying, “Papaw, Papaw.” One day I finally said it, “Papaw.” I remember him playing in the sandbox with me- before his dog Bubba turned it into his litterbox. We sat there for what seemed like hours building sand castles, moats, and roads so that we could drive toy cars and Catepillar’s around the roads. I also faintly remember Papaw taking me to work with him. My Papaw worked for Catepillar and was always on the go.

I think one of my favorite memories from when I was just a little bit younger. It is what I am going to call “The Routine.” I can not remember how often me and Papaw did this but I know it was more than once. We would start off with bowling. My Papaw and me were good. I am absolutely no good now, but then me and Papaw always had strikes. After bowling we would go to the Dollar General and get some Spam for lunch. We would then go home and watch all the Home Alone movies. We did the same thing every time and I loved it and it never got old.

Food- my Papaw is the world’s greatest cook. He had even built on an outdoor kitchen. His specialty (in my eyes) was “Papaw’s Fish.”  For several years that is what I had for every birthday. I am so glad that this past year I have had “Papaw’s Fish” before he left us. I was in Italy on my birthday, so before I left he cooked me fish- and let me tell you, it was G-O-O-D.

There is a certain “skill” (for lack of a better word) that my Papaw acquired over the past year that I am really going to miss. This may sound weird to you, but for us, it was a sort of game. I could be sitting at the table eating or just walking by and all of a sudden, out of nowhere my papaw would just hit me! I would always just look at him and just say, “Really?” and then most times proceed to jokingly tell on him to my Mamaw or Aunt Sandy. Every time, I would also wind up hitting him back. I love this little game of ours and I am going to miss it.

There is one thing that I just love about my Papaw. I am one of these people who hates to be late. I really can not stand it. My Papaw, when he retired, however, was always late. My cousin Bethany and I honestly think that when he retired he made a rule for himself saying that he could not be on time anywhere, he had to leave either right before time to arrive, right at time to arrive, or sometime later. My Papaw was even late to his own funeral! I love how he always kidded around.

My Papaw’s personality was amazing and I want to model myself after him. He was kind, caring, and always there to help. I have never met anyone that was as loving as my papaw. Papaw loved everyone and he would talk to anyone and everyone. Papaw was also a very hard worker. Before he retired he was always on the go and even after he retired, he never stopped. One thing he began doing when he retired was wood work. Papaw started working on anything and everything. His last project was his room. He was putting down hard wood floors, wooden walls, he redid the bathroom, and even made a couple of cabinets. The day he died, however, he probably would have finished it. Thankfully, he had a friend, Matt, who had been helping him with the room and knew exactly how Papaw wanted it. That night, Matt finished the room. The room is amazing and one day I want a room just like it.

There are two trips that my Papaw took the grandkids on this year. One was to a Safari Park and the other to a Western Town. The Safari Park was first. We kind of got in trouble while here, which made the trip even better. We decided to get out and feed the animals, little did we know, that was a no-no. I loved however, when I was scarred for life by the evil emu. I thought that thing was going to eat me and I screamed! Papaw laughed so hard at that scream and the horrified look on my face. The next trip we took was to a Western Town. I must admit that when i first found out where he was taking us, I was not excited. When we got there, however, it was amazing. I do not know how Papaw found out about this place, but I am so glad that he did. The whole place was just like a western town and it had been made by hand by this man. It was amazing and I had so much fun that day. I know my Papaw enjoyed it because he loved the West and he loved wood.

My Papaw was an amazing man, and while I am still not ready to say goodbye, one day I will. I will not, however, forget him. I want to always remember the wonderful times I had with my Papaw and I want to remember everything about him so that I can be just like him. I love and miss him dearly and I am going to do everything I can to make him proud.

Randy Ray Warren

April 30, 1949- September 8,2010