A1 Great! Part lies, part heart, part truth, part garbage.

just like that

Well, wtf. My father-in-law died here in Ottawa on Sunday night. Not exactly what I’d had in mind by ‘smoother sailing’.

To say that this is a sudden development and a great shock is to understate things. Lots.

He was an interesting man, who I got to know over the many years that have passed since I started dating his daughter. I was once the teenaged, no-good-doin’ kid coming around from across town on my bike, and he was the very large and not terribly friendly father, not just a little imposing and pretty unimpressed with this suitor for his oldest child’s hand (and her other parts, yes). I immediately cast him as an evil ogre of sorts, and set about encouraging Jennifer to join me in being reckless youth.

But of course this whole relationship wasn’t just high school fun, and I kept showing up for family dinners and stuff, so he and I began to accept each other. I could see that he was a hard-working man, someone who’d gone through some difficult times to provide for his family, and it was obvious that my future wife adored him, and he took great pride in his only daughter and her amazing accomplishments. I suppose he came to understand me a little bit, and he was always pleased to hear of my latest success at work, or of some big idea I’d had, usually with regards to this here interweb. (He seemed to think I was the authority on technology and computers and stuff. This is becoming a recurring theme in my life.)

My own family has the tendency to alienate and divide, and so many of our internal relationships have become so crumbled and warped that it’s hard to believe we’re all from the same goddam place. On the in-law side, bearing witness these past couple days to this process of announcing and coping with the death of a towering figure, fully learning how much respect and love his family has for this man, makes me wonder how he’s managed to do it all so well, all these years.

I have learned to appreciate his relationship with his adult children, and his wife, and gained a better perspective on how to be a father myself.

It doesn’t seem possible that he could be gone now, even having seen it with my own two eyes.

One response to “just like that”

  1. pat says:

    that’s terrible, man. i was in the hospital standing next to my father-in-law when he died. i know what you are going through. stay well.