A very happy Mother's Day to all out there who know what it is to wipe a snotty nose, tuck in a scarf, and stay awake worried for all kinds of reasons, whether for your child or someone else's.
I should be paying tribute to my mom today, but I think you'll all excuse me if I do something a bit different. I want to honor my late father-in-law, Bill.
I know it's been awhile since I wrote, and that's for a good reason. Last Monday, we got a call that Bill had developed pneumonia, his heart was racing at an alarming rate, and he was being admitted to the hospital. We flew to get ready and drove down there, spending eight hours at his side, and supporting his wife of 51 years, Dorothy.
To make a long, sad story short, Bill passed on Wednesday afternoon, with his wife and daughter at his side. The hospital staff let him remain until those of us who live locally could see him. The nurses were all wonderful. I'm fairly sure most nurses have starter wings hiding under their scrubs, and these women were no exception.
In the middle of all of this, I had to write a paper, and take the final exam for my course. To say that was hard to do is an understatement, but my instructor knew what was happening, and will hopefully cut me a break. He's a sweetheart - a big bear of a man whose sympathy was very genuine. So you'll all understand that I had a great deal on my plate, and blogging was the least of my concerns.
Bill's visitation was yesterday, his funeral service tomorrow. As the family gathered prior to the admittance of guests, there were many tears. But there was so much more laughter! In addition to his wife, Bill leaves behind three sons, one daughter and their spouses, nine grandchildren and one great-grandson. All of us were sharing stories and reminiscences - a true celebration of the life of a quiet man, who served his country, his church and his family with dignity and love. I watched them all, seeing Bill's hands on my husband, a gesture of his on another son, his voice from his brother. When the visitors arrived, over and over we were told what a wonderful man Bill had been, how many lives he'd touched. I was honored to stand with his family and hear the tributes.
After visitation, we all gathered at the family house, ate and talked...and laughed some more. Dorothy said that Bill had dictated there were to be no tears, but a celebration of his life. We couldn't quite manage the no tears, but we certainly managed the celebration. There was so much warmth in that house last night!
I have a feeling Bill was doing what he always did when the clan gathered...sitting, watching, and smiling quietly, enjoying the family.