Wow- I have not posted anything here in a long, long time. Whenever I do have ideas that I want to express, and I begin writing, one idea morphs to another, and before I know it, instead of a tidy little thought, I have a jumble of half-baked ideas, and I can’t quite muster the time or energy to concisely articulate what I sought out to say.
The last few days have been an emotional roller coaster. I want to record the experiences I have had, not necessarily for anyone else to read, but mostly for me to remember.
This past Wednesday, February 5th, at about 5:30pm, we were notified that my wife’s father had passed away. He was rehabilitating from knee replacement surgery and was recovering well. He was in good health for a 75 year old, and we were all shocked by the news. Rather than going through all of the events that transpired, I want to focus this post on my memories of my father-in-law. In a later post I hope to describe the outpouring of love that I have witnessed and how this has changed me.
My father-in-law was a kind, generous man. From the first time that I met him, he made me feel welcome and comfortable in his home and always treated me as part of the family. When I married his daughter, he insisted on giving us a vehicle to use, and I believe we are currently using the fourth vehicle that he either gave us or sold to us for a nominal price. He has done the same for his other daughters. When we purchased our first home, without our asking, he loaned us money to increase our down payment. He took my family to Disneyland more times than I can count, and he always repaid us for much more than his share of the expenses. Whenever we visited his home, we could not leave without him offering us a treat and making sure that my children had their favorite beverages. He often sent me home with rhubarb, peaches, or tomatoes from his garden.
Perhaps his greatest gift to us was his unique personality, which I don’t think I could ever quite adequately describe. He loved to record things, and kept a daily record of the high and low temperatures, rainfall, and probably other details that I am missing. He recorded the size and weight of different kinds of tomatoes that he grew. On our trips, he would record the time that we left, the time of each stop, the temperature, what we spent on food, and the gas mileage. He knew the exact the number of miles from Lehi to Anaheim, where to stop along the way, etc. He had nicknames for cars, people, and buildings. His level of frugality rivaled my own. Even though he had brand new slippers, he would wear old ones, held together by duct tape.
He was a fun, interesting man and will be truly missed.