Sunday, February 3, 2008


My daughters father-in-law passed away this past week. We attended the memorial service yesterday along with another two to three hundred folk. The hall where the service was held was packed. Standing room only.

His wife, his children, his parents, his siblings, and numerous other relatives all shared of what knowing this man has meant to them. The common thread amongst all those who spoke was of a man who could give unconditionally. He was a resourceful fellow. Gifted with mechanical apptitude and lots of smarts. He would freely share of his knowledge and his time. Getting involved with the greasy repairs, even though he field of work was networking. His family could call on him 24/7 and ask for help. He had a listening, non-judgemental ear. People spoke of his compassion and patience. People spoke of his warmth and caring. All who spoke of him loved him deeply.

I had only met with this man a few times. Spending time together when our children wed each other. Then once more, we spent a Christmas together at my daughter and son-in-laws home. I was struck by how he was content to listen, to help, to be part of his family. How much he cared for his family. I have regrets that I never got to know this man better. For never asked for his opinion on matters important to me. I am also glad that this man's son is part of my family. I already know how much the son cares for my daughter. How much support the son provided for my daughter when she miscarried late last year. How their whole family rallied around them. I can still learn from my daughter's father-in-law. I can learn by watching his son. I can learn by sharing our lives.

In the end, it is only our relationships with other people that matter. It's not about possessions or jobs or hobbies. It's about being joined. Asking for help and giving help. Connections.

In a book I am currently reading, I saw atonement written as at-one-ment. Through the 12 step programs, we loose our sense of isolation. We regain the connectedness with people. It is a wonderful gift.

My daughters father-in-law teaches me the importance of that connectedness. How we receive love as we love others. How important we are to each other. Thank you.

1 comment:

johno said...

sorry for your loss, but what a lovely post thank you