By Kat Medlin, Ashley Carmichael and Justin Carmichael
I never really thought about the word ‘grandfather,’
So I looked up the word ‘grand’.
Involving or including many people.
Impressive because of importance.
That sums up my Pawpaw,
So magnanimous we say it twice
A man who went to war and brought peace.
A man who didn’t just love, but loved fiercely.
A man surrounded by people,
Yet a head above them all.
A man of God.
A family man.
Azariah, who survived the fiery furnace and lived as a prince among men,
This is my grandfather.
He taught us perseverance—you will finish the golf tournament, Ashley, even if you come dead last.
He taught us allegory—just one more episode of Babar, please.
He taught us acceptance—put on the bowling shoes and try again.
Never a cross word, except for the occasional
Spoken with nearly sixty years of love and togetherness.
My grandfather, my Pawpaw, revved up his van, piled us all in, and drove us around the world,
Or at least around our world
And often beyond.
How many trips to Disney?
No, he won’t let Justin wander off with Mickey Mouse, or keep his head stuck in a fence at McDonald’s on I95.
Because everyone he ever met was family, but none so precious as the 3 blonde girls that added
To his already grand life.
Go for the gold, Kat!
He’d yell and clap and nearly drop his ever present camera at each new accomplishment.
And then rewind, replay and remind us of how we became who we became.
Because of him.
Because he is our Pawpaw.
And I am proud to be his grand