Most people have horror stories about how awful their in-laws are. This is, apparently, prevailent thing. So much so, that when I say "I'm going to visit my inlaws", I get pitying looks and offers of condolences.
Then I have to explain that it's not like that at all, and I'm happy to go visit them. My in-laws rock.
So when Adrian, my father in law, passed away last Wednesday night, it made a great big loud "boom" in my life, the echoes of which will probably never fade away completely.
At the memorial service, a lot was said about his very large, full life. He started businesses. He was in the Air Force. He had five kids (the next to the youngest of which I married). He loved horses. The list goes on for pages.
But I'm not gonna talk about that. I want to talk about what mattered to me...how he always treated me like a daughter, how he loved to tell funny stories. How every visit with him was a special occasion, because he seemed to consider it as such. How he always took care of everyone. How he loved to remember humorous family events. How he never forgot any little thing anyone might be involved in and would always inquire how that was going. Even if it was something he didn't entirely get. And the little newspaper and magazine clippings we'd get in the mail when he found something he thought might be of interest.
He asked me often how this particular writing project of mine was going. Not entirely sure he really got what I was doing exactly, but he knew I was writing and throwing it out there, and always asked me how it was coming along.
Gonna miss his stories, and his laugh, and hearing my husband chatting with him on the phone in the evening. And I'm going to miss hearing him tell stories about "the old days" and his childhood.
Gonna miss him.
So, thanks Adrian. I have been so honored to be part of your family. I won't ever forget you, and I will make sure my daughter never does, either. I love you still.