Monday, January 28, 2013

My father in law

Yesterday morning B's dad Jim lost his nearly 6 year battle with lung cancer and passed away.  

Jim really stepped into a "dad" role for me when my own parents douched out and disappeared. I talked to him on the phone for hours when I was buying our house. We planned a family vacation to Italy/greece together by sending each other about a million emails (me and him did most of the actual planning) and he gave me lots of career advice when I was on the job market. 

I haven't written much if anything about Jim here, because I knew Jim read my blog.  Unlike my real parents, he wanted to know everything I was going through- he signed up on facebook to keep up with his family, and would read my blog regularly. Every once in a while when I would be feeling particularly bad about how my parents were acting, and would write a blog post about it, an email from Jim would show up in my inbox- "Hey, I read your post and I wanted to remind you that me and B's mom are here for you guys if you need anything."  He would also leave nice comments on my facebook posts.

Here's a story that is iconic of Jim: In 2009 we took a trip to Europe. On our stop in ancient Olympia Jim wanted to come and see the ruins, but he was on an oxygen machine and we had to leave him to rest at the entrace while we did the tour because he was too tired to walk around after the walk to the entrance. When we came back he had a new BFF- a friend he had made who also couldn't handle the walk. Jim already knew his whole life story.  That was typical Jim.

Jim stopped cancer treatment last November because it was no longer working. For christmas we got him a framed picture of our first ultrasound (his first grandchild), and had been planning to send him updates. We never got a chance to mail out the second ultrasound pictures, but we were able to text them to his phone right before they sedated him and put him on a ventilator on Saturday...so that was one of the last things he saw.


The whole time I knew him he was dying; he was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer about 3 months before I ever met him.  But instead of sitting around moping about the things he couldn't do, or the fatal illness he had been diagnosed with, he went out and traveled the world (literally he's been on at least 15 cruises at least in the last 5 years) and was always chatting up strangers and making friends with everyone. He was my role model of what a happy person and loving parent is like. I am so disappointed and sad that my children will not get to know him.

On the other hand, I'm so happy I got to spend as much time with him as I did, and that I got a chance to know him and love him.  He got to come to our wedding (He won't be at B's sisters wedding in October), we had that amazing trip to Europe together that I will never forget, several thanksgiving and christmases, and I'm so happy he at least got a chance to find out that I was pregnant and he would be having his first grandchild before he passed.

In lieu of prayers, B asks that you donate to cancer research, and register as an organ donor.

6 comments:

  1. So sorry for your loss, but glad you got to know him. He sounds like a really decent guy. x0 N2

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  2. Good bye dear friend to man. Tell your child everything about him.

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  3. First time commenter but lllooonnnggg time reader, I am so sorry for your loss, my father-in-law passed four years ago and I know how hard it can be to loose someone you love and to watch the person you love deal with that loss as well. It will take a long time, and you will never "get over it", but you will come to a point where memories of your father-in-law will no longer bring tears but smiles. [internet hugs]

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  4. oh oh i am so sad for your loss

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  5. What a lovely tribute, AE. You were lucky to have known this man, and he was lucky to have you for a daughter-in-law. Your children will love to hear stories that like about him.

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  6. I am so sorry for your loss and so glad that you had him in your life for as long as you did.

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