Remembering Papa: When Father’s Day Goes Beyond Just ‘Dad’

Different scenarios for many people have me feeling not so alone. Sometimes many of us have different father & mother figures. I was/am lucky enough to have my dad and his dad, my Papa Bud.

I will not lie. It hurts and still does that my papa is not here to be at every holiday, every birthday party, every birth of my children, every graduation, and beyond.

My Papa Bud could talk to anyone about anything, and he could talk for hours. My dad does the same. That is where I get my personality from.

In January of 2016, I got the phone call that Papa had passed away. We knew he was not doing well for about two years prior, even made a special trip a year before to see him.

Every death hurts, but this one hit me like bricks. Still to this day, in 2021, I would do anything in the world to have my Papa back telling me stories… with every detail.

Papa Bud wrote letters (handwritten) before I was born. When I first start reading, I imaged Papa writing it (because I saw him sign birthday cards and other notes my whole life), then I heard his voice reading each word. Somehow in the middle of me reading, I took myself back to all of those Christmas nights that I was listening to him tell a story detail for detail. It could have been a story of a cat eating food from a dumpster, and he would always make sure to give every detail, even the kind of food the cat dug into….. Then, the last line read: “Now, give this to your children…”. Little did he know (writing that, we assume, before I was born) that I would become one of his pride and joys. When it got to the point that he couldn’t make it down for every birthday and Christmas anymore, he would light up like the sky when I called him for his birthdays. Summer of 2016 was the first time I read his letters.

My Papa Bud not only stepped up, went above and beyond for me, but he also stepped up for my dad. My papa lived up to every word of what it meant to be a good dad. He stepped up into the father/dad role for my dad, and I never knew that until after he passed away. All these years, he was the best dad to my dad and the best grandfather to me. I still remember graduating high school and looking back at him when I crossed the stage.

Father’s Day hurts.

I re-married my second husband in November 2016. My dad and I already did the traditional father-daughter dance for my first wedding, so I decided to share this moment with my Papa. My dad, like myself, is obsessed with country music. Cole Swindell went number one on the charts that year with his song “You Should Be Here”. Breaking tradition again, the mother-son dance happened first, then I grabbed the mic for a speech. I cannot remember everything I said, but I do remember saying “there is someone else who helped raise me, as well. Can I have this dance in his honor?”. I could not make it through all my lines without crying. I was bawling. My dad lost it as well when the intro of the song came on.

It’s perfect outside, it’s like God let me dial up the weather.
Got the whole crew here, I ain’t seen some of them in forever
It’s one of those never forget it, better stop , and take it in kinda scenes.
Everything’s just right yeah except for one thing.

Every holiday hurts now because I’m no longer the little girl who runs into her papa’s arms yelling “Papa” when he makes it to our house from out of town on Christmas Eve. Miles & miles away, he never missed a moment of our lives. I’ll never miss a moment remembering him, especially on Father’s Day.

Born and raised in Houma, having lived in Lafayette and now living in Baton Rouge, I am a wife, mom and entrepreneur. My husband, Scott and I have three boys named Colston (4) and twins - Rowan and Reeves (3). I graduated in 2013 from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette with a B.A. in Broadcasting. I worked in radio for 11 years being on the air and holding multiple management titles at 94.5 KSMB & 101.5 WYNK. While working in radio, I also worked in TV news and other jobs. Currently, my husband and I own an insurance business (Scott Tully Allstate), I work at the Louisiana Department of Health as a Communications Coordinator, and we invest in real estate. I carry with me from radio a rebranded podcast called 'Mommy on the Geaux.' As a mom who does not stop, I also love fitness, being outdoors, eating out with family / friends & traveling.

1 COMMENT

  1. what an awesome tribute to the man who molded me. thanx so much Brittany, I’m sure he’s glowing with love & joy…. Love ya

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