The Legacy of Larry Wilson


Lexy Wilson

Larry Wilson was my grandpa, but us kids always called him papa. He meant and still means the absolute world to me even in death. His passing hit very hard for me, but even though he’s passed I still remember all of the good and fun times that we had together. He would always tell me how he loved me more than anything in the whole wide world and would always encourage me to go after my dreams no matter how hard they might be.


One of the earliest memories that I have is that he and mama would both help me read before I started kindergarten. There’s a picture of me when I was three or four trying to read on papa’s lap with someone else’s glasses on and he is pointing at the words and teaching me how to read. It reminds me that I learned to love reading from a young age because after I was taught how I never stopped.


 He would dance with me and all of the grandchildren on Saturday nights and we would end up dancing for hours. I remember that he would pick me up and swing me around and it always made me laugh. We would dance to songs from the 50s and 60s, mostly Elvis Presley, because that was his favorite singer. I think that’s where I got my love of older music from because he would always be playing that kind of music, and he passed that onto my dad who plays that music, too.


Most days he would be done working by the time mama went to take her nap, so we started to spend more time together. Since my brother, Austin, and I weren’t old enough to be at our house by ourselves during the summer we would be at mama and papa’s bright and early around seven in the morning. Throughout the day we would play games and watch TV. My favorite part of that time though was when mama would take a nap and my brother and I would go into papa’s room and watch TV, most times we watched the game show network. We did that for about three or four summers in a row. 


Over the years I have spent a lot of time with my papa. One of the things that I regret is that I wasn’t able to spend as much time with him for the past few months due to Covid-19. During the summer when I was never around anyone I was able to spend the night regularly and play pool volleyball. That allowed me more time to spend with both mama and papa considering that I hardly saw them as much. When school started, I wasn’t able to go out there any more besides when it was warm enough to talk outside socially distanced. The last time that I was papa was the day after Christmas. It was warm enough to be able to hold Christmas outside so that we weren’t all crammed together and in a house together. Everyone was so happy during that time, especially me, because I at least wanted to have somewhat of a normal Christmas with my family and I was able to get that before papa passed away. 


It’s still crazy to know that he’s gone. It’s been almost a month now, and I don’t really feel like he’s gone. I feel like this was just all some crazy dream. To have that realization that I won’t hear his door open or close shut, have his TV turned up so loud that you could hear it from in the living room and outside, and that I won’t ever get to hug him again. I think the things that will end up hurting the most as time goes on is that he won’t be physically here to see me go to prom, graduate, or become the doctor that he always knew that I could be. Even though he’s not here I still feel him with me every single day and will continue to for the rest of my life and I will continue to do the impossible because he always knew that I could.