12 December 2008

Open letter to my father-in-law: 1 April 1920 - 12 December 2008

A little after 1:30 this afternoon my father-in-law crossed over. He was asleep at the time and his heartbeat and breathing both kept slowing until they stopped. It was peaceful.

Oscar used to have a great time teasing people (particularly children) by pretending to think their name was something other than what it really was. When my niece was about 4 years old (28 years ago), one day he called her Sam. She thought he was telling her his name was Sam. And from then on, that's what we all called him. For as long as Mike can remember, he had a predilection for telling people he was 15 years old. Sam actually turned 88 this year.



Dear Sam,

Thirty-one years ago this month, Pam invited me to come spend a few days with your family during the holiday. I'd been on weekends some during college, but this would be my first visit as an adult. And it was my first time to see Mike in several years. That holiday was so special. You and Mary always made me feel welcome and this time was no exception. It was a magical time for Mike and me. A few months later he & I eloped and all of us became family.

I always appreciated how you treated us as adults. I'm sure there were times you didn't agree with what we might be doing, or wondered if we had lost our minds, but you always gave us plenty of moral support while letting us learn to make our own way. Now that I'm a parent of a grown child, I know how hard that can be.

Every day that I have lived with your son I have seen and been grateful for the guiding compass you modelled and taught your children. That continues to live on in our children. Even though you are no longer here with us, your love and influence remain.

If I had not loved you before, you would have become a father to my heart that day when Abbey was 2 years old and she had you sitting fully clothed in the bathtub with a washcloth over your head to hide from the tornadoes. What perfect love of a grandfather for a grandchild. And I remember similar instances when you let DD#2 drag you all over creation on walks because there was something new still to see. I am so grateful that you encouraged the girls' imaginations. They always adored you because of things like that.

I wish you Godspeed in this new phase of your soul's journey. We will miss you.

Becky
Bookmark and Share

20 comments:

Anonymous said...

Becky, I am so sorry for your loss. Your letter is so beautiful.

Laura

Mari at Once Upon a Plate said...

Please accept my heartfelt condolences Becky.

What a well expressed, and beautifully fitting letter of love and appreciation.

((Gentle Hugs)) ~m.

teacup said...

I'm so sorry Becky for your loss........you have my sympathy's.
May he rest in peace always.

You wrote such a beautiful letter, you are such an inspiration.
Prayers....and thoughts in this difficult time for you and your family.

Erica

Hilary said...

Becky:

I'm sure that Sam (Oscar) will live forever in your hearts. My heartfelt condolences to your entire family.

Linda said...

Becky ,I am so sorry for your loss...
He sounds like he was a wonderful man. Please give Mike my condolences...and your girls as well...
This is very sad news....
L ((((HUG))))

Mary said...

Becky, I'm so sorry for your loss. Please extend my condolences to your husband.

Ernie said...

Becky,
I'm so sorry for your loss. Your letter is a wonderful tribute. Please extend my sympathies to Mike and your daughters.

xoxo Ernie

Martha said...

Becky -- so sorry for your loss -- what a great letter. Prayers for you and your family.

bakinbits said...

Becky, I am so sorry to read this. What a beautiful tribute from you to him! My condolences to your family on the loss of your Sam! (((Hugs))) Regina

Anonymous said...

Oh Becky...

I am so sorry for your profound loss.

In your heartfelt tribute to your FIL, you tenderly expressed his greatness as a man.

Please convey my condolences to Mike, your girls, and to all that loved *Sam*.

My thoughts and prayers are with you all.

Fondly,
Susan

Mia said...

Becky, heartfelt sympathy and prayers to you, Mike, your girls and loved ones during this time of deep sorrow.

Rest in peace, Oscar (aka Sam).

Hugs from Mia

Becky said...

Thank you all so very much! I appreciate every one of you and am passing on your lovely comments to Mike and the girls. Sam was very special and the only grandfather my children knew. Tentative arrangements are for the funeral to be Monday afternoon.

Kristen said...

Becky...
I am so sorry for the loss of "Sam" Thank you for giving us all a glimpse of this wonderful man through your letter to him. Praying for strength and peace for all of you!

Hugs! Kristen

Kelly said...

Becky, I am so sorry. Your letter to Sam was beautiful. My thoughts and prayers are with you and Mike and your family.

Hugs

papa said...

Hugs and love to you and Mike in this time. It's never easy. "Sam" sounds like he was a wonderful man and he will live in your hearts forever.

RainbowDishes said...

Becky, you and your family are in my thoughts. That was a very touching letter to Sam. Not only were you blessed to be included into that family, but they were blessed to have in you included too.

Southerncook said...

So saddened to read of your families' loss. I was moved to read you letter to your FIL and what a wonderful tribute. He obviously left many wonderful memories for your family to remember and cherish.

Carolyn

Sharon said...

Becky~

What a loving tribute to "Sam". My thoughts and prayers remain with all of you.

hugs,
Sharon

Cheryl21 said...

I'm sorry for your loss Becky, especially at this time of year. Your FIL sounds like he was a very special man and you were lucky to have him in your life, as he was you.

Cheryl21

Becky said...

You all are so very kind with you comments. I have passed them all on to Mike, the girls and the rest of the family. All of them have asked me to tell you how much they appreciate your love and concern.