What would the world be like without a Papa?

After my dad passed away, it didn’t immediately occur to me that my kids would be without a granddad; A granddad to play with, learn from, bond with.  A granddad to teach them to shoot, fish, hunt, respect, honor…  Sure, these are all things Gary and I as parents can do, but I have fond memories of these lessons being reinforced to me by my granddad when I was little.  

Shortly after we buried my dad, a good family friend stepped in. Matter of fact, his words to me went something like this: “I know I’m not their biological grandpa, but now that your dad has passed I’d sure like to step in as their Papa if that’s ok with you”.  I bawled, both because I was so sad my kids wouldn’t have their granddad, and because I was so thankful and so touched that someone would be willing to step in.

Well, Papa has been taking his “job” very seriously.  He stops by to visit the kids on a regular basis.  He takes them on tractor rides when we go over to visit him.

Logan was able to go on a trip to Washington with Papa, and most recently Papa took Brooke on a “date”.  He called and asked her if she’d like to go to dinner with him.  She got all dressed up, and when she answered the door he had a flower for her.  Grandma sent one of her “princess crowns” with Papa so Brooke could wear it, and she was more than thrilled to do so.  Of course I, being a mom and a blogger, had to take a picture (or 20).

Papa said she could pick anywhere she wanted to go eat. Her choice? Panda Express. He said they were the best dressed people in there (especially compared to those who came in wearing their swim suits).  Then she had her first ever ice cream cone from Cold Stone Creamery. She’s hooked.
To say she had an amazing time would be a huge understatement.

Erik can’t wait to see what he gets to do with Papa next, since Logan and Brooke have had their special time with Papa. Connor already adores Papa, and someday soon he’ll be sharing tons of fun adventures too. 

I am so thankful for the wonderful people we have in our life!

*Before you go: Gary’s dad is still alive, so the kids weren’t totally without a grandpa in their life after my dad passed. He lives in Chicago, and though the kids speak with him on occasion, it’s not quite the same as having a grandpa in town.  That said, they love Grampa G (Gary’s dad) to pieces, and I want to be sure to state that.  My granddad, their great-granddad is also alive.  They love him to pieces too, and he is a big part of their lives as well.*


  1. What an amazing man to step into that role. &How sweet that he took her on a date &gave them all special time!

  2. She is just beaming! How nice of him to want to spend so much time with them!

  3. How very sweet. Thanks for sharing this wonderful story. Everyone does, indeed, need a Papa.

  4. Awww, Alesha! How blessed y'all are to have him step in and truly want to fit that role of Papa! I love the pics – easy to see that they adore him :).

  5. I love them both…This is so precious. It makes me happy on a day when I'm sad that my kids don't have grandparents. 🙂

  6. debruhaines@juno.com says:

    How absolutely wonderful! Thank you for the happy tears that are streaming down my face!

  7. Oh gosh I totally cried happy tears while reading this….. what an amazing man to step into that role. Your kiddos are definitely blessed to have him in their lives.

  8. He's so wonderful!

  9. This is absolutely wonderful, so sweet <3

  10. desertmama says:

    This makes me cry, but in a good way. I'm so thankful your kids, and mine, have him in their lives.

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