My father-in-law, Bob, passed away one year ago today. Please keep Steve, Suzy, and Julie in your thoughts and prayers today.
Bob was quick to help out and Lucy and I always seemed to have projects underway. He was eager to help and I always enjoyed the help. Lucy trusted my judgment but she still relied on Bob’s opinions, knowledge, and experiences. I never minded the second opinion and I would not hesitate to ask for his counsel.
I enjoyed his company when Bob and Betty would stay with Lucy and me. It also meant we would see the rest of Lucy’s family at some point during the weekend. The love he and Betty gave to their children carried through to their adult lives. Our house was filled with laughter and love during those times. It may only be a year, but it seems to be a lifetime ago.
Bob had an incredible memory. He would tell such detailed stories about events from over seventy years as if he were recounting something from earlier in the morning. I had studied 20th century American history in college and read many articles about the Great Depression. Slogging through dusty tomes in a library or listening to a too-young associate professor droning on is not the same as hearing first hand accounts from someone who lived through it. Lucy’s family history came to life during those stories. I know we learned so much about her family and we enjoyed learning those lessons.
Even though it’s been a year, I miss Bob’s laugh, his sense of humor, his stories, and his advice. Most of all, I miss him. I am fortunate that he is still part of me and will be for the rest of my life. He lives on in Suzy and Julie, and I am grateful they chose to have me still be part of their lives.
Whether or not one believes in an afterlife, everyone achieves a degree of immortality by being part of someone else’s life and building memories. It is up to us to help determine whether we are remembered fondly or disparagingly. The life experiences of those we remember help shape the type of person we become. Bob is fondly remembered and deeply missed.
Thank you for the birthday wishes yesterday. I am touched by you remembering me and grateful for your caring. It has helped me through this tough part of my new life.
Give your special someone an extra hug tonight. Enjoy that embrace and never miss an opportunity to let that person know how much you care for her or him. Take a moment to remember a loved one who is no longer among us and give thanks for how that person improved your life. Try to make some wonderful memories of your own.