I received a call this morning at 7:20; I didn't immediately recognize the number, or the tearful voice on the other end. And I didn't want to recognize the news.
My Father-in-law had passed.
The news was unexpected. He, like most men his age, had a few health problems; problems he addressed when he had too and ignored when he could. but he hadn't been unwell recently. Death has grabbed him while he was still full of life.
I actually met my wife through her Dad. We worked together, driving school buses for the county. The drivers would gather and drink coffee after the morning runs and before the afternoon ones at the garage, swapping stories. He never said too much, but when he did it always seemed to be the right thing to say.
He never said anything to me directly, but the grapevine was full of rumors that he was not a big fan of me dating his second oldest daughter for a variety of reasons. I hope he changed his mind in the last 30-odd years. I lost access to the bus garage rumor mill 30 some years ago, but I think he must have; I never got thrown out of the house when we went to visit.
It is often said of people that there is never a bad word said against them; but that is seldom true. But it is in his case. Generous to a fault occasionally, the only vice he ever had that I was aware of was his pipe, if you could consider that a vice.
Husband, Father, Grandfather, Great- Grandfather and Father-in-law; he will be missed by all who had the great blessing to have know him.
3 hours ago