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Ida Street Archives


Annie Heath

Note: Many thanks to my little sister, Colleen, who came up with the title for this post.

For 24 years of my life I was blessed with a great light. Philip Anthony Pfeifer: a German man, an accountant, a devoted husband, a loving father, the world's best grandfather. Philip Anthony Pfeifer, my Papa.

My Papa was a storyteller, a poet, an artist. He was a treasure map maker, a sea captain (or rather, a Lake Keowee captain), a spoon-nose-hanger. My Papa was an emailer. He was a trickster. He was so very, very wise. He could have excelled at anything he chose to do - & he chose that to be us.

Today, my Papa was aptly described to me as the Center of our Familial Universe -- & all we, his beloved ones, gravitated to him & rotated around him like the Sun. My Papa held each of his (nineteen!) grandchildren in his heart in a special way. & we felt it. Through the many years on his lap, in his arms, listening to his stories.

My Papa was always happiest when we were all together. & though many of his (seven!) children were with him at his passing - in the coming days, the rest of us will be flying, driving & running from every corner of the country to South Carolina. There, we will gather to celebrate together, one truly remarkable man.

My Papa told the best stories. But I think he would agree: the greatest one he ever told lives on. It's alive in those he left. We're here to continue the script.

Raise a glass, to a man who is bigger than words, my Papa. We are forever yours.