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My dear Papa passed away at the beginning of May. This was a man we absolutely adored. His quick wit, fabulous stories, servant’s heart, and blueberry pancakes made him a gift to his family. The service was tremendous as it celebrated his life and honored his service to the country. I had an opportunity to share and I’ve included my reflection below:

Papa knew how to run errands. I learned this at a young age and, as a result, I clamored to be apart of as many errand runs with Papa as I could.
When Papa ran an errand, he took it as an opportunity to serve… to love extravagantly. For him, it wasn’t enough to simply be at the store helping, he took it one step further. I can recall being informed by Papa that we would venture into the dreaded frozen food section of the grocery store so that Gege could avoid getting chilled. He wasn’t content to browse the cereal aisle or pick out produce. He took the worst of the worst. He knew Gege’s dislike for the temperature of that section and so that’s the first place he went.
While at the store, he was guaranteed to be making friends. No store clerk, postal worker, or fellow shopper left an interaction with Papa without feeling uplifted. He had a way of creating instant friends, he knew no stranger, and treated individuals with dignity no matter their job. He didn’t step up to the register to simply purchase – he went there to brighten someone’s day, to connect with another human being.
I was always so proud to be standing by the side of this man. He was witty, intelligent, and fun. I was sure that when we exited the store they’d be talking about how he was absolutely their favorite customer they had ever encountered.
I first met Chris, who I later married, at a grocery store with a group of mutual friends. I watched him interact with one store worker using her name, making jokes, and carrying on like they were good friends. And I thought, “He reminds me of my grandpa.” That doesn’t sound like a compliment to many young men… Oh, but it was. A compliment of the highest regard.
Papa knew how to run errands. It wasn’t an insignificant part of the day. Errands were a demonstration of his character, his faith, and his love. These errands mattered – to his family and to those he had only just met.