My Papa (pronounced with the short a sound) Morgan was an amazing man. He was a farmer and a church going man, who proudly sported an orange blazer whenever he could. He was a proud, proud Clemson graduate and he loved roses. He had a big heart. He was strong and courageous. He loved his family more than anything else, especially his wife. And I was named after him. Heather Morgan. And then I passed that name onto my child, Morgan Katherine. He passed away when I was only nine years old, but I remember him so vividly. And in those short nine years I learned so much from him.
I remember his dark hair. I remember the way he wore his glasses and carried a handkerchief in his back pocket. I remember how he always had a tube of chapstick, you know the one that has the black wrapper. I can still remember the smell of that chapstick. I remember his large, wrinkly hands. And at times I can even remember his deep voice.
(Chad, me, Papa and Kelly)
I also remember him as a "builder". He built an amazing marriage. He built a loving family. And he built many, many "treasures" for all of us. Treasures that we will keep for a lifetime. He built a cradle and a changing table for my mom when we were only babies. He built me my very first baby doll cradle, complete with my initials. I also have a handmade full-length mirror and one extravagant doll house. He has built so many things, but one of my most prized treasures is a small picnic table. I hate to even call it a picnic table, because I don't feel like the term gives it justice. It's a beautiful dark table, perfect for small children. And two small dark benches accompany it. There is a picture of me as a child sitting at the table and praying. It's a precious picture that has so, so many memories.
So many things took place at this table. I played. I prayed. I learned to feed my baby dolls. I made Owens sit for hours and do "schoolwork". I drew and colored. There were several New Years Eve's where my grandmother would come over and keep us while my parents were out. She would get the table out and set it for our "New Years Eve" dinner, complete with sparkling grape juice.
Once I grew up and left my parent's house the table was stored away in my their attic. Lately, I have thought about that table a lot and decided to get it out. I wanted it for Morgan Kate. I wanted her to be able to sit at the table and pray and play and just have fun. I wanted her to enjoy a piece of her Papa. And she has. She has fallen in love with the table. She is eating there at times, playing, putting puzzles together, reading and on and on.
Just yesterday she even shared her table with her little friend Caroline. Caroline and Nolan came over for a play date and everyone had such a good time. The girls played at the table and in every other place they could get in.
And Nolan just sat back and watched.
I'm so proud to have this piece of my grandfather and even more proud that I can share it with my daughter, his great-grand. Morgan Kate would have been head over heels for her Papa.