I Hope I Can Be The Man You Still Are!


I wrote of him over five years ago in a post entitled:


I wrote then:
“He is now up in age. I first spoke to him on the phone. It was a tense moment, asking him for his daughter’s hand! It was 1978 and he had never met me or even knew I was in love with his daughter. I remember the feeling of the conversation all these years later. He was kind and gracious as he permitted me to marry her! I am sure he wondered who I was and what I would become. Could I provide and make his daughter happy? Would I honor and cherish her? Sometimes I wonder how he could have been so gracious under the circumstance, handing over to me, a virtual stranger, his precious daughter. I have become more and more aware of a father’s love for a daughter as I too have placed my faith in the man who married mine.
I have now been married to his daughter for almost 39 years. Never over those long years has he ever said or done anything to me that couldn’t be described as respectful, loving, or kind. He is a man of great wisdom and wit. He has touched the lives of all those he comes into contact with for good. No one who meets him forgets him. It is an honor to be his son-in-law. It is an honor to call him father.
It is a great blessing to have a wonderful supportive father-in-law. I feel as Moses did when Jethro, his father-in-law, came to town. Exodus records:
“And Moses went out to meet his father in law, and did obeisance, and kissed him; and they asked each other of their welfare…” (18:7)
Marriage can be difficult at times, but it is made all the easier when a couple has supportive parents who encourage and bless the lives of their offspring. Their example is fundamental in the success of a young couple who is looking for direction.”

It has now been close to three years since my father-in-law passed away. I sorely miss him!  I miss his optimistic view and his positive outlook on life. He could have soured on life as he spent the last decade as the primary caregiver for his wife of sixty-six years, who suffered from dementia. When I would suggest that things must be hard, he would comment back with tenderness; “I made a vow to her!” It was said with such love, never in despair. In the end, he gave up his own health to nurture his wife through the darkest of times. He stood as a shining example of what a “real” man does when faced with adversity. He stood strong and, with conviction, carried out the vows he had made to his beloved bride those many years ago. And now he has gone to meet her! I know she has embraced him and thanked him for being so devoted.  I am sure when they reunited, she threw her arms around his neck and kissed him tenderly. I believe that a reunion has already taken place. They are together again and I think that is what he wanted and why he left us so suddenly after her death.

So to you, Dad, in gracious honor, I can genuinely say that I loved you. Your daughter is still here by my side now, coming up on our 45th wedding anniversary. Who knows what lies ahead for us, but you were a shining example of how I should be as a husband when faced with the final years. I hope I can live up to your standard. I hope to live up to that first phone call when I asked for her hand. I hope I can be the man you still are on the other side of the veil!

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