“We call him Papa Bear.
When I say we, I mean the whole world. He never meets a stranger. He remembers names. He dresses up like Santa Claus for community projects. He fixes old bikes to gift to kids. He tells the same stories a million times but each time with more animation than the last. He laughs loudly and enthusiastically when watching his cartoons.
If you are upset, he will ask to go for a walk with you and point out a pretty bird or a funny shaped tree or something cool in the sky until your worries are forgotten.
He brushes his wife’s hair and massages her back at the end of long days.
He calls my children to tell them historical facts about coins or the moon or family members they never had a chance to meet. He tells them they can be or do or have anything they dream of in this world.
He tells me I am beautiful. The best mother.
The best daughter. He offers to do and give my children and I so much and if I try to politely say no, he says ‘Come on, don’t steal my glory.’ He makes his generosity feel like yours.
He doesn’t have a lot of money. He works with his hands. Arms. Legs. Heart. Many days, he works himself to exhaustion. Yet, he still picks up the phone to call me and ask if we have food in the refrigerator or if my heart is happy.
Though he lives across the country, he shows me every single day I am loved and lovable.
Papa Bear, you are my favorite gift.”
– K. Malia Price