“Life by the tail on a downhill drag”

From Jennifer Murphy Britt: September 29, 2010

When I received the email from my cousin Keith that he had started this blog about Papa, so many memories flooded my mind.  There are so many things I want to say about both my Nana and Papa that I didn’t know where to begin.   However, what stands out the most about both of them is: they were there for us. There to support, love, guide, teach and show us the way.

Many adjectives come to mind to describe our beloved Papa:  faithful, determined, feisty, generous, loving, all of which endears him to so many.  Not only his immediate family, but anyone who meets him – he becomes their Papa too!  Papa is dearly loved by many and respected by all who cross his path.

When Papa visited my mother (Bonnie) in Florida during the Summer of 2007, nothing was going to stop him from being productive.   Don’t you know, there is always something to do, build, fix, create.  He didn’t come to Florida to relax and enjoy the Florida sunshine.  No…he is the ultimate taskmaster!  Being at the young age of 90 wasn’t going to stop him.  Here is a picture of him from that visit…

One of my favorite quotes from Papa, that he would always say to me, is, “you’ve got life by the tail on a down hill drag.” When I was much younger, that quote always made me laugh.  Now, when I hear it, it resonates more deeply.  He’s just reminding me of how fortunate I am.   How blessed I am.   How loved I am.   How wonderful my life truly is.

When I spoke with him recently, I asked, “how are you doing, Papa?”  His reply…. “I’ve got life by the tail on a down hill drag!”    It was great to hear that, knowing how difficult everything has become for him.  Knowing he can’t jump up and do that which he wishes to do.  His physical strength has diminished greatly, however, his mental strength still soars.

Papa provides a tremendous example of a life well lived.  How to stay faithful during the unbearable times.  How to laugh, cry and love one another.   How to stay positive, even when things look so bleak and weary.  Thank you Papa for your example.  Thank you for being there for us.   Thank you for reminding us that we have life by the tail on a down hill drag!

With much love to you Papa,



About Keith Knapp

I am a driven innovator with an entrepreneurial mind, and I have a passion for helping people succeed. As a high-energy optimist I have a mind for action and a desire to stimulate personal, professional, and community development.
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