Updated: Dec 26, 2021
I was only 9 years old going on 10 when he passed. He wasn’t just “Grandpa”; he was “Daddy Floyd” to me, my siblings and cousins.
I remember everything on that hot summer day. Cathy and I were outside playing with our cobalt blue roller skates when our paternal grandfather - Daddy Johnny, who lived next door to us - came over to get us the day Daddy Floyd died.
That was the longest car ride ever. From Waxhaw to Charlotte didn’t seem all that long when Daddy Floyd picked us up. We even made pit stops along the way. But this day, the ride just took forever.
I honestly think this was my first heartbreak. They didn’t let children in the hospital. I was so mad (an honest trait I got from Daddy Floyd) because I didn’t get to say goodbye, hug his neck, or receive my last kiss on my forehead. By the way, absolutely no one but Daddy Floyd was able to kiss my forehead. That was our ‘thing.’ Who thought it was a good idea to keep children out of the hospital were dumb - at least that’s what I thought at the time.
I was, let’s say, an inquisitive kid. Always asking questions and getting into stuff. And I mean stuff. But Daddy Floyd didn’t care. He answered every question no matter how many I asked or how many times I asked them. Sometimes he would even help me get into “stuff” such as making “the best mud pie in Waxhaw.” At least that’s what he said. He had so much patience with me that he may have not always had with others. If it was wrong, oh he made sure you knew. He could easily go from zero to 100! But it was ok, everyone respected him and for the most part stayed out of his way.
It’s amazing how much of an influence people of significance have on our lives. Although I was little, I gained so much from his presence…other than making mud pies.
Daddy Floyd was strong and a hard worker who served in WWII. His brother, Uncle Issac (pronounced Unkaizac - all one word) and he didn’t talk much about their service days, but they didn’t have to. Their dedication, love for family and starched khaki pants (that could stand up on their own and salute) spoke of their military background and strong upbringing from their parents. Oh, the stories my great grandma “Musha” told me. (I’ll save those for another day.) This is what made Daddy Floyd so great! He was this little girl’s hero.
As an adult, I oftentimes channel his energy when I’m met with a challenge or difficult situation. Those short 9 1/2 years taught me to never give up, work hard, commit to whatever you are doing and most importantly…if you are going to do it, you better give it all you have to give. You have only one shot at this life so make it count. Just like Daddy Floyd did.
This week in honor of the holidays, I will write about all those who have made me who I am today. Some of them have left us but it’s important to reflect and remember, allowing their legacy to live in ourselves and others.
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