I don’t really understand why people say phrases like - “I’m at a loss for words” or “I can't even put into words what so and so meant to me” - because in times like these the good word is just what the lord prescribed.
According to the oxford english dictionary, there are 171,476 words in the english language. I was just watching the scripps national spelling bee and - trust me - there are plenty of words that you wouldn't even think of, but when we experience a loss, we should try our best to find the words that mean something, dig them up and set them free.
Pop pop would want that. Pop Pop wants us to laugh, he wants us to sing and have a good time. Not be at a loss for words because he never is at a loss for words.
A celebration of Pop Pop’s life could never lose words because he never did.
Perhaps Pop Pop’s most commonly used word is: “roth” or “derotha,” as he would call for my grandmother (Derotha Jones) from across the room, because he loves her. Pop Pop and grandma have been together for seventy years. Nearly three quarters of a century, ‘roth’s’ been his girl--standing side by side without fail. Another constant in Pop Pop’s life is his positive attitude. Something we all should strive for.
On the phone, for as long as I can remember, I would call and say: “Pop Pop!”
And he’d respond “How are you my star?” And I’d say “I’m fine how are you Pop Pop?” “You’re fine, well I’m doing better!”
Pop Pop is always doing better. Not fine, he isn't pretty good but better. He had to be better.
Even when it comes to choosing his words Pop Pop never settles for average. To use a sports reference, Pop Pop is batting at least .500 24/7.
Pop pop loves him some sports. His favorite being baseball. Pop pop and me talked about sports basically every week when I was growing up. I called Pop Pop after each of my football and basketball game and he came to a few of them all the way in D.C. too.
He calls me his “star.” Whenever we speak, Pop Pop refers to me by this nickname, but as we’ve seen and heard today there’s only one star in the family. That’s Pop Pop’s title.
Everyone in Conway knows Pop Pop. He and Grandma lived in the same house that he constructed with my great grandfather sixty years ago. Pop Pop is good with his hands or what he would call when you’d be cutting up - the “hammer.” Now it’s time to let those brick laying hands rest.
When I think about Pop Pop I think of the words that so many used to describe him and will continue to share these anecdotes, so he lives on.
For the husband, father, grandfather, great grandfather, brother, son, friend and wordsmith that Pop Pop is let his enthusiasm for life and his family live on through a word.
Love. That’s the word I choose.
**In memoriam of George Henry Jones Sr. 09.11.23-05.26.18**