As we bury my precious father-in-law today, I'm glad that I made sure to say the things that should be, and needed to be said while he was still living. While I can't get through saying them out loud this afternoon, this is what the Pastor will read for me. There is so much more that was said between us that I could write, but he already got to hear them.
Dad - What a gift to have spent the last 23 years as your extra daughter. In your last months, as you and I talked, I’m glad I got to say these things to you, but I need to say them again.
You taught me so much about what love really looks like. What a treasured gift that is for me.
After my own Daddy passed into heaven, you never tried to take his place in my heart, but you always filled the hole in that place with extra love as a good father should.
You taught me to enjoy the simplest things in life and to take joy in them. I’ll miss our Swan Reports and think happily of you each time I see them soaring overhead.
Red is still my favorite color, too.
We will continue to take care of each other with all the love we have.
You made me laugh each time we were together, even up to your last day. I loved your twinkle-in-the-eye grin.
I love you and miss you so much, but know that heaven is your glorious home now. We will see you in a little while. Find us a great spot for a good long talk in the sunshine.
...may there be mercy and comfort in knowing that we said it all...
The chariot did swing low and carry Dad home today. His suffering is done. He is at peace in heaven. I'm sure he's starting the party himself.
Dad passed peacefully just before 4, his children surrounding him (love that even though I'm the daughter-in-law, I've always been one of his kids) with words of love and encouragement for his journey to the next life... the better life.
The Good Book does say "blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted."
I told a friend tonight that we feel this strange split personality thing going on. A part of us is so terribly sad that he is gone from us. At the same time, a part is rejoicing that he is not suffering and that he is in heaven. It's an odd feeling, I have to admit.
Last year I had good intentions. Good intentions to accomplish or at least get on the road to accomplishment for a number of things.
exercise 4-5 times a week
make at least 1 quilt per month
learn to knit
read the entire bible, cover to cover, as literature
have a massive celebration of turning 50
de-clutter my house
drop 20 pounds
have guests for dinner twice a month
blog more regularly
While I was able to accomplish a couple of these - the Man calls it the “50 celebrations of turning 50” and I did learn how to knit - the road to accomplishment for the rest of that list remains untraveled.
The first quarter of last year was great for traveling that road. I spent quite a bit of time quilting, the birthday celebrations began, I dropped a couple pounds, the de-cluttering began and then the Man got pneumonia and was in the hospital for a few days.
I tried to get back on the road after that, but it seemed that the road twisted, turned, and curved, almost like a bucking horse, to throw me off.
The road was completely lost to me when my precious father-in-law was diagnosed with terminal mesothelioma and given only a couple months to live. My good intentions were tossed aside. Life condensed down to the really important stuff of taking care of the Man, his daddy and myself. Making sure that the things we needed to say were said, the things we needed to hear were heard.
All those things have been said and heard, now we just enjoy each moment with him, knowing those moments are winding down more rapidly each day as he gets weaker and weaker.
I still look toward the road, hoping to plant my feet firmly on it, but for now, it might just be that I can only locate the road. Walking down it will have to wait a little bit.
I know that the road waits for me, probably with a lot of additional turns meant to throw me. I am looking forward to stepping back on that road, still looking at the list from last year, and adding a few thoughts for this year.
...may there be mercy and hope in setting my feet back on the road...
A deep faith, a little quirky, a joy in friends, a love of the Man, that me in a very small nutshell. Here's life as it happens in our little corner of the world where there are a lot of these things... knitting, photography, movies, prayer, wine and more... mixed in the the ongoing battles with depression and dementia. Grab a cup of coffee and stay a while.