My granddad died twenty-two years ago today at the age of eighty-seven. His name was Burkette Greene. He was born on May 1, 1910 and he lived in Sneedville, Tennessee. He was sixty-one years old when I was born. He was married to Laura Greene. He used to tell her that she could find herself another man when he died. But she actually died forty-one years before he did. She died of cancer at the age of forty-four in 1957. Mom was only eight years old when her mother died.
Papaw became a widower less than one month before his forty-seventh birthday. He had to finish raising his five kids by himself. He did get remarried but the marriage ended in divorce just eighteen months later. The main reason for the marriage was so that Papaw's kids could have another mother.
When I was four or five years old, I asked Papaw if I could have a radio that he had. He said that he couldn't let me have that radio but he didn't want me to go home empty handed. He gave me another radio that he had. That was an act of kindness that I still remember to this day. Papaw died on February 7, 1998 and he is missed.