Formerly known as "Cruzers in Korea"

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

We Miss You Paw Paw

Wednesday, February 1, 2012
Carol's step-dad, James Mathews, better known as Paw Paw to the kids and Mathew to the grownups, passed away last month at the ripe young age of 91.  Carol's Mom called him Mathew because she didn't want to confuse him with her son who was also named James.  So Mathew it was.  Like Aunt Charlie says, "It doesn't matter what your name is, we're gonna call you what we wanna call you."  Gotta love Aunt Charlie.

When loved ones pass away, it's of course very natural to feel great sadness.  With Mathew's passing though, I was uplifted by the story of open arms and love that defines Carol's family.  And so here's the quick story:

Aunt Charlie got to know Mathew through his first wife, Ruby.  She was Ruby's oncology nurse.  After a long and happy life, Ruby died of cancer over 20 years ago, leaving Mathew pretty much by himself.  Unfortunately, he and Ruby were unable to have kids.  But it wasn't God's will for Mathew to be alone.  One day, Aunt Charlie invited Mathew to one of the family gatherings.  Before this invitation, Mathew didn't have any kids and the very little family he had lived out of state.  After this invitation and lots of love from the Hosmer gang, Mathew suddenly inherited a multitude of kids, grandkids and enough family to win an election!  He also met his future wife, Carol's Mom.  It's amazing how powerful a single invitation can be.

Here's Carol and Mathew right before they walked down the aisle to partner up with an incredible studmuffin of a Navy man.

Watching over Carol while she's pregnant with CJ.

Mom and Mathew drove all the way to San Diego to visit us.  On the last day of driving, they got pooped out and checked into a hotel that was about 20 minutes away from our house.  They didn't realize how close they were.  Carol hopped in the car, retrieved them, and did the caravan back to our humble abode.  It was a fun visit.

Jake and CJ love their Paw Paw.

Mathew has seen a lot of things.  He was with Ruby during her battle with cancer.  He was with Mom through her successful fight with breast cancer.  He was also a veteran, having served overseas during his time in the Air Force.

During our last couple of trips to Alabama, Mathew would ask me, "So are you on a ship in Tennessee?"  Speaking of ships, here is Mom and Mathew dressed up as pirates during one of CJ's birthday parties.  These two pirates got to do a lot of traveling during their time together.  They visited Italy, Israel, Alaska and many places throughout the US.

Mathew was a very spiritual man and did many things for his church.  He was sharp as a tack all the way until the very end.  I'll miss hanging out at his house in Bessemer laughing at Ray Romano on the tube or watching the Weather Channel while the boys played checkers.  It was always pleasant conversation with Mathew, although you had to talk kinda loud so he could hear you.  After failing my hearing test two days ago during my flight physical, my ears aren't far behind.  Darn jet noise.

Growing up as a kid, I had no memories of grandparents.  They had all passed away when I was young or before I was born.  I'm really glad that my boys have many fond memories of their Paw Paw.  One memory that I hope stays with the boys for a long time is the story of Aunt Charlie's invitation.  

Paw Paw - you were loved by many and will be sorely missed.  Rest in peace.



Thank you for sharing the life of Matthew with us He was a very special person and I am a better person for knowing him Matthew was always such a happy go lucky person and loved life and people I never heard him speak bad of any person He loved life all the way to the end It takes a special person to still have a positive attitude when you know he dont feel like being positive Thank you Clara Marie for sharing your special someone with me He had a great life down here but I know he is now Walking the Streets of Gold and Talking with our Master Hold down the fort Matthew It wont be long befoe we will be joining U
Evelyn Fowlkes

Senior Observer

Nice story. I'm 90 my self

The Cruzers

Ms. Evelyn, you are exactly right. He's holding down the fort for us. I enjoyed reading your nice words about him. Take care, Chris

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