Three years ago today my grandfather passed away. He was a small man, wrinkly and tanned a gorgeous red-brown from years spent tilling his mile-long garden. His hair was white as the purest diamond and his smile lit up his entire face while crinkling away his pale blue eyes.
He was the first one to ever tell me my origin story.
"I was out there in my garden, trying to get my watermelons to grow when I heard the strangest noise. I carefully started poking through the lettuce patch but still couldn't find the noise. Finally, I saw the biggest head of cabbage and slowly pulled back the leaves - and there you were! Pink and screaming! Your little face all screwed up and your fist just a'walin' away!"
He would tell me this while rocking me in a big green rocking chair. I would listen intently and trace the ducks carved into the wood until I closed my eyes. He would rock me and hum bluegrass tunes until I told him I was asleep: "Papaw, I'm asleep now - can you take me to bed?"
Somedays - when the world is rough and unkind - I want nothing more than to be in that rocker. Rocking and rocking and hearing the gentle twang of a man who loved me so much and hearing him tell me: "Papaw's little bullfrog! Wouldn't trade you for TWO tomcats! Nope... Maybe three... But certainly not TWO!"