The pre-breakfast giggles, songs, stories, hugs, kisses and “I love you’s” are a welcome dose of medicine this morning as we spend time out of town with our daughter and her family! I am reminded of the goodness of God in the most simple things today and how precious the gift of time is. These are some things that bring us comfort and help us in times of loss.
In the last few days, there have been many conversations and shared memories about my father-in-law’s passing, between my husband, his brother, sister, and our children. Waves of emotion come and go, and sometimes the tears linger. As our family goes through the grieving process, the one thing that we all agree on is that Bob, in all of the different roles that he had in our lives, was always loved and respected! We have many fond memories of the private side of his life as well as the admiration of a public life well lived! He served his community with excellence and cared for his family deeply showing his support in so many ways!
Scott and I took a long drive after we received the sad news about his dad’s passing, and went to every place where his dad had lived including his childhood hometown in the heart of farmland. There were some quiet moments as well as stories from his childhood that I don’t know that I had ever heard. We drove around for nearly 6 hours before deciding that we were hungry and wanted to go to the restaurant that his dad built into a landmark with a reputation for excellent fine dining, The Cellar Restaurant! We were greeted by people that had been faithful workers there for many years, including the current owner who had worked with Bob for many years before buying it from him. They were so kind to offer their condolences and let us know that 61 years ago on the day he passed, he had opened the restaurant. WOW! Six decades of a stand alone restaurant, in a small farming community serving the same recipes today! We didn’t know this until we got there and found it both interesting and ironic!
As long as I have known my father-in-law, he has always been generous, kind, and smart, a man of strength and presence. Whenever I was around him I always felt safe and cared for! He taught his children and grandchildren the values of loyalty, honesty, fairness, hard work, and serving people well. I so appreciated the way that he cared for his mother after his dad passed and how he went above and beyond taking care of his employees, friends, and family members.
During this time, I have been very thankful for the people in my life who have prayed for Scott, me, and our entire family as we have walked through these difficult moments.
I am grateful for the time that we got with him and can’t imagine what life would have been like without having known him.
I am grateful for the last conversation (even though I didn’t know it at the time) that I had with him, I was able to tell him that I love him.
I am blessed with a wealth of memories of the last 39 years watching him as a son, father, father-in-law, grandfather, husband, businessman, and friend.
I am grateful that he shared the best of who he was with us and allowed us to enjoy his influence in our lives and the lives of our children.
I have learned that as much as I am able to, it’s important to live life without regrets. It is hard enough to go through loss but regrets can add insult to injury and make it harder than it has to be.
Whether we realize it or not, we all will leave something behind with those we have loved and done life with. It’s important to think about what each of us wants that to be. I encourage you to take some time to think about what you want people to remember about you.
Remember, the life that we have been given is a gift not just to us but to others!
It is meant to be shared, and given away!
Cherish the moments and memories and live life well!