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I had not planned to write a post today, but after waking up this morning and realizing it would have been my Papaw’s 92nd birthday today, I felt led to write this post. Last year was my grandfather’s last birthday on this earth. So, this post is dedicated to him.

My mom asked him the day before he passed away where he wanted to go (back to his house, an assisted living facility, etc.), his answer was ‘home’. He meant his eternal home, and praise the Lord, he is now there. He understood the meaning of home, the earthly kind and the eternal kind.

 

He understood what family meant, he understood that a legacy is not about money or possessions, it’s about how you love, how you treat others and how you give of yourself, instead of wondering what you can take or get.

A legacy is something that many people talk about, but not many people truly understand. My Papaw truly understood what a legacy meant.

When I think of him, I remember a man of few words

his favorite word was ‘whatever’-not in a disrespectful way but in a ‘I am going to let you make your own mind up about that’ way

he adored his farm-after all it has been in the family for years and years, and I am so thankful that it will stay that way

he loved his family. no matter how bad he felt, he did his best to show up to family functions. he took pride in his family. My name comes from his last name (Allison), our son’s middle name is his middle name. He understood that a good family name was worth something, and something to protect.

he knew what it meant to have little and cherished what he did have. he lived through the Great Depression, he knew what it meant to not know where your next meal may come from. He took care of what he had and he made use of what he had.10013580_458238934313694_811993860542214129_n

A couple of years ago, on his 90th birthday, we had a party for him…at a house he had purchased a few weeks before. He is the first person I have ever known to purchase a house at the age of 90. In ‘Papaw fashion’, he taught us all something at his party. He pulled out a small book called “Heap O Livin” by Edgar Guest and he read the below poem.

He understood what family meant, he understood that a legacy is not about money or possessions, it’s about how you love, how you treat others and how you give of yourself, instead of wondering what you can take or get. 

HOME

By Edgar Guest

It takes a heap o’ livin’ in a house t’ make it home,

A heap o’ sun an’ shadder, an’ ye sometimes have t’ roam

Afore ye really ‘preciate the things ye lef’ behind,

An’ hunger fer ’em somehow, with ’em allus on yer mind.

It don’t make any differunce how rich ye get t’ be,

How much yer chairs an’ tables cost, how great yer luxury;

It ain’t home t’ ye, though it be the palace of a king,

Until somehow yer soul is sort o’ wrapped round everything.

Home ain’t a place that gold can buy or get up in a minute;

Afore it’s home there’s got t’ be a heap o’ livin’ in it;

Within the walls there’s got t’ be some babies born,

and then Right there ye’ve got t’ bring ’em up t’ women good, an’ men;

And gradjerly as time goes on, ye find ye wouldn’t part

With anything they ever used — they’ve grown into yer heart:

The old high chairs, the playthings, too, the little shoes they wore Ye hoard;

an’ if ye could ye’d keep the thumb- marks on the door.

Ye’ve got t’ weep t’ make it home, ye’ve got t’ sit an’ sigh

An’ watch beside a loved one’s bed, an’ know that Death is nigh;

An’ in the stillness o’ the night t’ see Death’s angel come,

An’ close the eyes o’ her that smiled, an’ leave her sweet voice dumb.

Fer these are scenes that grip the heart,

an’ when yer tears are dried,

Ye find the home is dearer than it was, an’ sanctified;

An’ tuggin’ at ye always are the pleasant memories

O’ her that was an’ is no more — ye can’t escape from these.

Ye’ve got t’ sing an’ dance fer years, ye’ve got t’ romp an’ play,

An’ learn t’ love the things ye have by usin’ ’em each day;

Even the roses ’round the porch must blossom year by year

Afore they ‘come a part o’ ye, suggestin’ someone dear

Who used t’ love ’em long ago, an’ trained ’em jes t’ run

The way they do, so’s they would get the early mornin’ sun;

Ye’ve got t’ love each brick an’ stone from cellar up t’ dome:

It takes a heap o’ livin’ in a house t’ make it home.

 

Jed

Friday 10th of June 2016

Such good life wisdom and a beautiful tribute. I love the use of the word "whatever," as in 'I'm going to let you make up your own mind.' It's such a great way to connect to others. I also want the people I'm around to know that I care about them, and still, want them to decide for themselves too.

Loving Living Lancaster

Friday 10th of June 2016

Totally agree! I didn't understand it for years and sometimes even took it as sarcastic, but it was just a word that was used for a different purpose in his 'era'!

Lauren McKinley

Monday 6th of June 2016

Thanks for sharing! The legacy within a family is a truly beautiful thing, especially when grounded in such wisdom. It inspires me to create a strong foundation in my own little family.

Loving Living Lancaster

Monday 6th of June 2016

You are so right! I hope to create the same foundation in our little family.

De Bolton

Sunday 5th of June 2016

91 years o this earth the things he must have seen, the people he must have met and the lives he must have impacted. What a great way to celebrate his birthday

Loving Living Lancaster

Monday 6th of June 2016

I can't imagine all that he saw! The wisdom he shared was priceless!

Ai

Sunday 5th of June 2016

What a beautiful tribute! We had to say goodbye to our grandma just a year ago. I was pregnant when she passed away, and when my daughter was born, we named her after the great grandma she never met. We love how, in many ways, our daughter really does remind us of grandma.

Loving Living Lancaster

Sunday 5th of June 2016

I am so sorry for your loss! We lost my grandfather while I was pregnant with our little one, it was so hard to go through being pregnant also and knowing he would never meet his great grand father. We lost my grandmother a few years ago and my little one has her eyes, it's so amazing to already 'see them' in him!

Tara

Saturday 4th of June 2016

This is very sweet. It sounds like he was a great influence on you!

Loving Living Lancaster

Sunday 5th of June 2016

Yes, he was!