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Author Topic: My father-n-law died  (Read 623 times)
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Daehawk
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« on: January 20, 2006, 04:03:41 PM »

Wanted to write some of my thoughts down while they're fresh. Not sure they'll come out sounding like Im thinking them though. Quite a jumble.


I met my father-n-law nearly 20 years ago. I was invited to eat dinner with my wife's parents for the first time then. I was surprised to see that her father was the cook in the family. Id always known the women in my family to be the cooks so this was a 180. I always liked to cook and knew the world's majority of chefs were men. But to see this first hand was new to me. That was my first impression of the man.

We've lived with her parents for 18 years. Everyone had thier space.It worked out well because her parents were already elderly and I could take care of a lot for them and help out around the home. Over the years Ive grown a serious dislike for my mother-n-law as you know. For the last 8 years or so Ive pretty much avoided her as much as possible under one roof and thereby avoided seeing either of them except when the need arose or i passed them somewhere in the house. I pretty much keep to myself on this computer .

Anyways over the years Ive learned that my father-n-law was in the military in WW2 and traveled a lot over time. He's lived here nearly all his life though. Most of what I know were stories he told me as I would drive him to his doctor. In his later years he could not drive due to health problems so I drove him.

Some interesting things Ive learned over time...

He paid $10 for a Model T Ford that as in excellent condition. He told me of the 3 pedals in one and them having the accelerator on the steer column.

In the military he once had to board a troop train from SC to LA. They were packed into box cars with barely any room between them and the next guy. Somewhere in Georgia a train had derailed and they were'nt allowed off while they cleaned up the mess and let them pass on by. He said it took nearly 12 hours. And once in Louisiana it was really hot and muggy near the camp because of the swampy areas. They had to sleep outside even.

He also served in Panama during that time.

Traveled to NY for his company later in life. My wife still has a cameo he brought back for her when she was a child.

--------------------

Ive learned snipets of his life over time and got a better picture of him during it. I had thought that I did'nt relate much to my n-laws. Never watched a movie with them. Did'nt really eat with them. If they were eating when i was I always stood and ate at the cabinet and not the table. We got along fine just not a talkative close relationship.

But now that he's gone I realize I miss him. Somethings off now that I did'nt notice was there. I related more than I thought it seems. I write this teary eyed. I had didtanced myself yet it seems I was not that distant. Looking back I realize we had more in common and been closer than I thought.

Things I would do with my Dad I did with my father-n-law. Years ago I would take him and my wife to ballgames. They were both big sports fans. We'd all pile in the car and hit the farmers market on early morning trips.He was a big gradening nut who would rather dig in the dirt than take a nap. so i would be out there with him giving him a hand if he needed it. We did a lot of things that when they're alive you never give a thought to but you remember when they're gone.

In a lot of ways he reminds me of my pa that raised me. I was raised by my grandparents. In so many ways he was like pa. Perhaps thats why it feels like theres a hole here in the house now.

Where my mother-n-law can be so pushy,impatient, smartassed, spiteful and just mean, my father-n-law was just the opposite....quite, calm, smart, patient, and kind.

I feel so sorry for my wife too because they were so close. Usually its the mother and daughter who are close but not with them. Since my mother-n-law is the way she is my wife grew up close to her father. Its been really hard on her since he passed away.

Ive always found it sad to think of old people in that they were once young and never gave a thought to death and then they wake up one day and they're old and thier lifes gone. Ive been thinking that lately as I look at pictures of when he was my age and then ones just recently taken. A life lived, experiences seen, and then its all gone one day.

Ive already lost all my family except for my sister. My wife is starting to lose her's now. She was there for me and ill be there for her. We have each other. I always felt like I never fit in here..at least not well. But my mother-n-law says differently. She says he had said occasionally that it was good to have me here and that he would'nt know what to do without me. I was like thier son. That surprises me yet it does'nt..but Im glad to hear that and know he felt that way.

I dont know how long its going to take to feel normal around here again. Things will change. Belongings and furnitures will get moved or discarded. Life will go on. But for now its just kinda off..not centered. Time heals all and its pretty much true.

He was 90 years old. A long good life.Amazingly he still had his mind and body till nearly the end. As I said he loved his garden and he got around almost as good as me till about 2 years ago. Nothing major happened to him..just time caught up to him. He had to slow down and take it easier than before. He even worked a little in the garden last summer.

Lately he got to where he could not walk well and then to not at all except to another room and even then with a walker. He hated it. He did'nt want to live that way..he said as much repeatedly.

His body was worn out though he was still sharp as ever. His heart had become weak after pumping everyday for 90 years. He had to be admitted to the hospital. My wife visited him on Monday but he was asleep due to drugs. Teusday she got to speak to him on the phone. She told him she wished he could watch the ballgame with her and he told her he wished he could and that he loved her. That night he slipped away in his sleep...quietly and peacefully...just as he'd lived.  

I miss him.
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Ascendent
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« Reply #1 on: January 20, 2006, 05:00:46 PM »

Sorry for your loss Daehawk, at least he had an impact on your life. Hope things get easier for you.

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mikeg
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« Reply #2 on: January 20, 2006, 05:15:56 PM »

Truly sorry for the loss.  My father-in-law has been close to the end for some time now.  I expect the call anytime.  And my wife is as close as you described.  

Glad you got to know him so well and to learn so much about him.
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Daehawk
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« Reply #3 on: January 20, 2006, 05:20:01 PM »

I did'nt get to take care of my dad. He was well until an aneurysm took him quickly one night before I even knew he was sick. He was just 76 years old.  I always found it interesting that I was given the chance to care for my father-n-law the way I did'nt get to for my own dad.
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« Reply #4 on: January 20, 2006, 05:39:22 PM »

That's sad news Daehawk.  Please take care.
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DamageInc
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« Reply #5 on: January 20, 2006, 06:05:32 PM »

My condolences to you and your family.
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Daehawk
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« Reply #6 on: January 20, 2006, 06:21:19 PM »

Thanks for the caring words all. It helps me feel better seeing them. I almost did'nt write it. Posting something like that on a public msg board is a little strange. But Im glad I did after all.
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« Reply #7 on: January 20, 2006, 06:44:28 PM »

My condolences, Daehawk.  I hope writing that was as cathartic for you as it was enlightening for me.
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Harpua3
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« Reply #8 on: January 22, 2006, 03:45:08 AM »

Quote from: "Daehawk"
Thanks for the caring words all. It helps me feel better seeing them. I almost did'nt write it. Posting something like that on a public msg board is a little strange. But Im glad I did after all.


 First of all, I`m sorry to hear about you lose as it`s clear he`ll be missed. While I agree with you about posting that on a public msg board is a bit strange, but who cares. I`ve done it. If it makes you feel better, than what else matters. This place is not-quite-like-your-ordinary-msg-board kinda place anyways :wink: . One thing to think about too... I can say that if I live to 90 I`ll be pretty happy, not too bad at all. Sorry to hear that though.
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