Your Legacy

Today we lost my father in law. He had been battling cancer for such a long time now that I truly mean it when I say that I am so glad his pain is gone. To quote my mother in law this afternoon, “I’m not sad for him. I’m sad for us.”

He left behind a family, extended family, god family, and lifelong friends who will forever love him so dearly.

When I first met him, he asked me what I did for a living. I said proudly, “Infant/Toddler Mental Health!” and he just looked at me. And I looked at him. 

And he looked at me. And I looked at him.

And then he smiled. And I shrugged.

We never talked about our differences. Our viewpoints, our distinctions. And why? Because quite frankly, it never mattered. Without words, he solidified for me the one thing I think I’ve always known; it doesn’t matter. Because when miss Lily was born, he took to her like sprinkles on an ice cream cone. They laughed together, played together, caused trouble together, and napped together. He loved her with so much sweetness that I finally surmised that there were in fact no differences between us at all. It was all about family. And always about love.

He bragged about all four of his grandkids endlessly, even and especially behind their backs. He poured his heart and soul into teaching them everything he could; whether it be building or gardening or fixing something up like the visual genius that he was. 

He raised two of the most loving, honest, and loyal children of his own. He held to the standard of till death do us part, and he lived two lifetimes of all this before I ever got to meet him. 

My deepest personal sadness is for Lily, that she will not have a thousand more memories of him smiling at her, hanging her upside down while she shrieked, or holding her tightly in his arms until she finally succumbed to naptime. 

Thank you for living your life with such zest and honor that it makes it so hard to say goodbye. Thank you for raising my husband to be such a good man, and for showering our baby girl with the sweetest and most genuine love.

Please go on over and meet my grandparents. Tell them I miss them so much.

The way you loved and nurtured your family is your legacy. And I’m honored to have witnessed it. 

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