I can not remember one single time that he raised his voice or yelled at any of us. That is amazing to me. I asked several other family members and of course they couldn't either. What a honor and what an achievement. How many people can say that? I can't!! My Pawpaw lived an amazing life and overcame the impossible and he did with class, diginity, pride, grace, courage, faith and mostly love. Not just for himself but love for his family!!
He was born the baby boy of nine children, the baby of seven boys and Aunt Ruby is the baby. His name was Harry Arnold, or Buster to the world. He worked in the oil fields of Texas and Louisana with his brothers and friends. Endless stories would be told of the days in the fields and moving with Mary Lee and "the boys", Sandy and Sue. Oh the stories that i have in my head to tell you. AND i will tell you them all. I need to tell them they need to be put to paper for all generations to here. Pawpaw once told me that they had been moving so much that "Mary Lee stopped packing the dishes up. She would just stuff the cabinets with pillows and tape them shut." :)
At the age of 39, Dec 16,1967 (i think that date is right). Life as my Pawpaw knew it changed forever. He fell on one of the rigs from the top to the bottom. The accident left him paralyzed. The actually diagnois was he would be lucky to make through the night, he did. Well, he won't make through the day, he did. He won't make it six months, HE DID! He out lived a few doctors and made it 42 years, almost 43!! That is crazy! That is amazing! That is my Pawpaw an incredible and amazingly strong man. Over the years to come, he would bury his wife, Mary Lee, his parents, all his siblings but his baby sister, numerous nieces and nephews and friends. He did it all with his head up high and with a positive attitude. You NEVER heard him complain or ask why me? He had this saying "I had worst places on my lip and never quit whistling." truth be told he probably had. It wasn't until i was standing at his graveside that i realized what he had been telling ALL my life. I, (you) can over come anything in life with right frame of mind and attitude.
He watched his 4 children grow and have families. He had 8 grandchildren that he held and watch grow and he had 7 great-grand children that he held and saw and loved!! How amazing is that!
He traveled everywhere. I can remember he had a gray/silver car and then he got a big blue tank-- a Bonneville--- it was huge! but he would load up throw his bags in a be gone. One day he wanted to go to Wal-Mart in Brookhaven. This before super Wal-mart, which is good we may have still been in there. We went down every isle in the store! He looked and looked--- Did not buy one thing-- nothing. He said, You ready? and we left. Went to KFC picked up a bucket of chicken and headed home. :)
Malisa found a paper that I wrote in college. I wrote the paper about my PawPaw. The title reads: My Grandfather, Harry Buster Arnold. Under that it reads: the three qualities I plan to honor are: Determination, Perseverence, and Motivation
in the paper I found this: "While his family kept him motivated, he is the motivation that keeps them going now."
I was so Blessed to have him in my life for 35 years. And yes, he is a huge part of who I am today. He taught me the importance of family and faith, to get an education and to never quit. He was my motivation. He wasn't just my Pawpaw he was my friend!!
So today as I remember my Pawpaw, it's been 6 months. I never thought I would breathe again, in all honesty i worried about just getting out of the bed... the crazy thing is that i've been doing it for 6 months!! 6 months!! it's been 6nonths since i talked to my Pawpaw....
I'm reminded of the song, Crying for me--
You showed me how I'm supposed to live
and now you showed me how to die...
I'm gonna miss that smile, i'm gonna miss you my friend,
Even though it hurts the way it ended up, i'd do it all again
So play it sweet in heaven 'cause that's right where you want to be
I'm not cryin' 'cause I feel so sorry for you, I'm cryin' for ME!!!
I LOVE YOU PAWPAW!!! A