Safe – when you’re with him you feel safe. He gives the best hugs and his embrace is warm. You feel like everything is going to be okay and you just know someone loves you so much. During tornadoes he was always calling, thinking about others. He even called me when I was at a music festival last year in Arkansas because he saw a tornado was headed my way.
He’s a protector. No one’s gonna mess with you when he’s around, not if he has anything to say about it. He will make sure by gosh that the right thing is done by his family. But you better watch out – he’ll get ya! He’ll scob your nog or skeech your head or snort and honk at you when you least expect it. He’s playful. A prankster in nature. He has stories upon stories that will make you laugh your guts out and you wish you could have been there; you wish you could have seen the time he accidentally crushed Jody Madden’s hand. He is such a good storyteller. The best was when we were kids and we would all wrestle. My dad would hold him down while we tickled his ear or nose with a feather or the tip of my hair. My dad would make us pull out his leg or arm hair.
I’ve been doing a lot of reminiscing lately. There are certain things that will always remind me of Papa: The Duke, Route 66, OU football, American flags, Turquoise, flannel, firemen, Easter baskets, antiques and pottery, red velvet cake, and a huge wallet. I’ll especially remember his love of cars and his model car collection or going to visit him at Reynolds Ford where he worked for 25 years. I’ll never forget when he and my parents surprised me with a new car at his dealership. Papa showed me every single operative thing on that car – what every button and lever was for. He test drove it with me for the first time. That’s a good memory.
He’s a Giver. I’ll remember the gold dollars he always gave the grandkids, or the 20-dollar bill he slipped me here and there “just because”. I know he did this with my parents as well when they were young. He didn’t have much but I guess he thought we needed it more than he did. One time, I went to the bank to deposit some gold dollars because I literally had about 200. The bank teller said, “Aww, your grandfather gave you these. You really want to deposit them?” It definitely caught me off guard. But when I think about it now, it makes my heart smile. He left his mark on everyone he interacted with. If you crossed paths with him, you couldn’t help but just know he was a special kind of person and that being in his presence was a gift. I’ll treasure the last 5 gold dollars he gave me. I’ll also treasure the two rings he gave me when I was little that belonged to Me-Maw – his mother. But most of all, I’ll cherish his love.
I’ll remember every Christmas – Papa passing out the gifts in his Santa Clause hat with the perfect, jolly tones of “HO! HO! HO! Merry Christmas!” I’ll remember the Mickey Mouse snow globes he gave us and how he would wake up super early and go to Dillard’s to make sure he got them. I’ll remember the look on his face when he opened any gift from his family – he was like a little kid again. Papa was all about finding joy in the little things.
I’ll remember when I was 16 and got my first job in the shoe department at Sears. He always came to see me and bought so many shoes from me.
He is so full of love. I’ll remember him walking through our front door when Jorden and I were little tikes. We would run and jump in his arms yelling, “PAPA!” every time he came to visit. I’ll remember him honking at me every time saw me driving around Norman… I would look around and be like, “Why is someone honking at me??!” and then I would see his car with the little American flag on the antennae. The last time it happened was a few months ago, and I’ll never forget that either.
I’ll remember his precious blue eyes, beautiful Native skin, gold teeth, happy belly, soft hair, strong grip, humongous hands, ears and nose, Reynolds Ford shirts, tinted glasses, Indiana Jones hat, and the faint smell of cigarettes, leather and after shave mixed with his own wonderful scent. Most of all, I’ll remember his SMILE.
Strength. Lynn Moxley is the definition of strength in all sense of the word. He might be the only person to not lose his hair after going through full chemo and radiation treatments. And sometimes I look at him now, and I think that he knows he is everyone’s rock and to lose him would be too hard for us, so he remains strong. He remains here because he knows we need him to and because he loves us all so much. After all these years of taking care of others, supporting them and loving them, it makes me so happy that he has us all here to take care of him now. To make him comfortable and to pray for him. To love him. Because he deserves it more than anything.
My Papa might not have been perfect, but perfect is how I’m going to remember him. He is one of my most favorite people on this earth, and he truly means the world to me. He taught me so much by his example. He is and always will be a true hero. He will live on in our hearts forever. His legacy will be that of love and joy and comfort.