Reminiscing: a tanka/haibun

As I was going through my emails this morning I saw one from The Daily Post that caught my attention; I admit I often am not particularly inspired to write from their prompts but do get other ideas. This prompt asked about a song that triggers memories of people, places, things, etcetera. Immediately I began down “memory lane” – gee, that could be a whole new category, but I digress – and so I thought I’d share that with you today. 

As I may have mentioned, my father died when I was nine years old – he was 29 – of a rare form of stomach cancer. My maternal grandfather, Papaw, who I’ve mentioned before I’m sure, became my father-figure; really, he probably already was since Dad worked a lot and wasn’t around much. Papaw was a man among men; folks he knew and worked with 40 years ago still tell me stories of his great physical strength, his fortitude, his sense of humor, and his faith. I could write many stories about him – and may in the future, who knows? But right now I want to share the memory that came rushing back today when I read the post idea. 

My Papaw was a faithful Christian who held many offices in the church over the years. Now, I should say he wasn’t perfect and wasn’t always the kind, tender-hearted man he became after he was saved; he, in his younger years, drank and fought (loved to fight I think LOL) but was always a good father, husband and provider. Even after he came to know Christ I’m sure he made errors; we all do, I can attest to that personally. One thing Papaw didn’t do or participate in much was sing or be in the choir. Looking back I don’t know why; he could more than carry a tune so I reckon he felt it just wasn’t his calling to be a part of that ministry. But every time one particular song was sung he sang out with all he had! That song, which is still a favorite of mine, too, probably for the memories I’m sharing, is “I’d Rather Be an Old-Time Christian”. What joy I could see in and hear from him as that song played. In fact, it was one of the songs sung at his funeral ; it broke me that day, bawling like a baby, the only not-so-good memory I relate to it. You can hear a version of the song HERE if the video below doesn’t work for you.

William “Bill” Plybon, my grandfather: something I say with pride. I have always said if I could be half the man he was I’d be happy, and I still feel that way. I’ve added another goal to that as I’ve gotten older now: I want to be the father to my kids he was to his and the grandfather to my grandchild (or grandchildren if more come) that he was to me. With the Lord’s help, I believe I can attain those things. 

fathers and sons have
a bond indescribable
with Papaw and me
it is so much more than that –
hero, mentor, role model
© Greg Wolford 2015

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