This prompt was relatively easy. My daughter had just written a small paper for her high school English class about my dad, who passed away in January, 2011. She submitted the paper along with this photo, one of her favorites of the two of them together.
Journaling Reads:Jordyn Hillary
A Change in My Life
Bennie Ray Shellnut, was the most important man in my life. Papa, my mom’s dad, was a huge part of my life ever since I was brought into this world. He taught me how to tie my shoes, ride a bike, play baseball, and love golf. He taught me the most important lesson in life: to put others before myself and to always give love to people around me, even if it is not returned. Not only was he my grandpa, he was also my father for the first five years of my life.
Every morning I would wake up to the cheerful songs that he would love to sing. His energy and presence just brought joy into every room he entered. There was never a time I did not want to be with my papa. I was always excited to see what kind of adventure each day would bring us. Unlike most dads or grandfathers, believe it or not, he would do my hair in the morning. He would brush my hair then put it into whatever hair style, from ponytails, to pig tails and even just letting my hair go wild.
Papa took me to preschool and picked me up almost every day. When I entered elementary school, he would help me with projects and math home work. He would even take me to my soccer and softball practices. Middle school came along, so I decided to join the school’s choir. My papa loved coming to my concerts. He loved to watch me sing because music was very important to him. When he was in junior high school, he was also in choir and loved singing the songs he learned there. School has always been a little bit of a challenge for me, but Papa would always say that I should not think of myself as stupid, but that I am capable of learning and succeeding. He would say that even if I fail, I should try and try again no matter how many tries it may take me.
Golf was Papa’s hobby. He played it any time he could because he was retired. When I got into high school, I decided to join the girl’s golf team, so I called Papa to tell him. He was happy to hear that I decided to take up golf. A few weekends later he took me golfing with him for the first time. I was thrilled, but little did I know it would also be my last time golfing with him.
A couple of weeks later, Papa came to my first golf match against Lake Orion. He walked the nine holes along the cart path. I was so happy to have him there. Sadly, it was the last time he would be walking on a golf course. Later that evening, he went into the hospital and found out he had a tumor inside of his brain. After that, my whole world changed. Papa passed away nearly five months later. Even today, it is still hard to believe that he is not with us. I miss Papa so much, but while he was with me, I believe he made me a better person.
Papa’s life and death made a major impact on my life. I want to live like he would want me to live. He believed in helping others even if they are strangers, believing in myself even if I feel like I can’t do something. But, most importantly, to love my friends and family and to do what makes me happy. I will cherish the memories of him for the rest of my life. Some memories make me laugh, others make me cry, but the most important memories are the ones that helped shape me into the person I am today. I want my papa to look down and smile and be proud of who I am. He will miss my graduation, my wedding, and holding my first born child, but I know he will be with me at those moments in my heart and soul. He is the greatest man I have ever known and still is to this very day.
Some observations about the process and products:
- My biggest challenge on this page (aside from holding back the tears...unsuccessfully) was fitting her entire paper onto a one 12x12 scrapbook page.
- Paper strips are from my scrap stash.
- I busted out my Stampin' Up alpha stamps for the title. I need to use those more often.