Alise is coming in to her own!! Her newest thing this week is to ask me, “Whatcha doin’ Mommie?” She asks me this when I’m getting dressed or cooking supper. She also says, “I don’t want to…” Her big quirk in the car is that the sunroof has to be open. Not actually open so that air is blowing in the car, but open so she can see outside. If you ask her to carry something, she says, “I got too much in my hands!” even though she has absolutely nothing in her hands!! She likes to count the pumpkins we see on the way to school every morning. Loves to water the dead flowers in the big pots at the front door with her Dora watering can. She loves her new electric toothbrush and wants to brush her teeth all the time (Thanks, Doug!). Has to wear socks to bed at night! But my favorite one is in the morning, while she’s watching cartoons and I’m getting ready, she’ll come find me and say, “Mommie, I wanna wok” meaning she wants me to rock her in the recliner. So, of course, not wanting to miss a moment of still being able to rock my baby, I take a few minutes out of my hustle and bustle morning and we rock till her heart’s content.
Today would have been Hollis’ birthday. By my calculations, I think he would have been 70 years old, plus or minus a year or two. Actually, I called Wayne at work yesterday to “remind” him and he informed me that no, yesterday was his mom and dad’s anniversary, and that today was his dad’s birthday. Sorry. Those days are just too close together! I’ve often wondered why Ruth and Hollis would decide to get married the day before his birthday? Did he think that birthdays were so special that he wanted to important days to celebrate back-to-back with his bride? Or was it the only weekend the two of them could steal away to get married? Whatever the reason, I called Cox’s Flower Shop in Oak Grove and had a dozen roses placed at his grave. I like to picture in my mind what today would be like if Hollis were still with us and I would like to think that it would involve Alise. I could see the two of them sharing a piece of birthday cake and giving her Papaw Horton a great big hug and saying, “Happy Birthday, Papaw!” Then, she’d say, “Moan, Papaw! ‘Ets go look at de cows!” and off they would go! I can just picture it so clearly in my mind and it makes me smile. If only… And then I am reminded that God’s ways and thoughts are not ours and I try to comfort myself with those words. But I still want to cry because my special Baby Girl will never know the kindness, strength, and gentleness of her Grandfather. She’ll never be able to feel the huge greatness of her Grandfather’s hand holding on to her tiny hand. She’ll never know what it’s like to sit around the table as part of the “Horton Family” at Mamaw and Papaw’s house (She’ll never remember even being in that house!). Alise has never asked about her Papaw Horton, but something came up about a month ago and I remember telling her that her Papaw Horton was in Heaven with Jesus. Of course, this was when she was going through that phase where she was repeating everything I said and she said, “In Heaven? With Jesus?” I said, “Yes, Baby, with Jesus.” She got quiet for a moment then looked at me and said, “I wanna go. I wanna see Papaw Horton.” Oh, if she only knew how deseperatly we all do.