When I thought about what to blog about today I couldn’t wrap my mind around anything besides the death of my father-in-law on August 3rd.  I’ve always thought of blogging as a way for people to connect and get to know each other through what they write in their posts.  Today I wanted to say just a few words about Dick a.k.a. Grampa.

It’s my way of remembering him in my own words, put out there on the internet for anyone to read – a special way of paying tribute to Dick in a manner that smashes through the silent boundaries of my personal life and blasts his name and picture into the social universe.

At my age I’ve met my share of men and women who’ve touched my life.  I remember some of them with  fondness because of how they treated me, how they made me feel special.  I meant something to them.  I wasn’t just another person who passed through their lives like a tiny blip on their radar screen.  My father-in-law was one of those people.

Of course, I didn’t love him just because I knew he loved me.  Even if I wasn’t his daughter-in-law, this man was special.  He was different than other people I’d met.  I actually got to know him as person.  I was able to spend almost 25 years around someone who lived to be 91 years old.

There are very few people who are truly kind.  He was one of them.  There are few people who never speak ill of others.  He was one of them.  Few people always smile when they see you, their eyes lighting up when you enter the room to greet them.  He was one of them.  Few blow kisses to you across the room when saying goodbye.  He did.  Few remember to ask how your horse is doing.  He did.  Few people at his age recall that your son plays basketball, that your daughter sells Girl Scout cookies.  He did.  Few would sit on the couch and let your two huge labrador retrievers lick your face while you’re trying to watch a baseball game.  He did.

It’s the conglomeration of little things that made Dick a big part of my life.  He didn’t have to do anything grandiose to capture my heart.  He lived his life so huge every day by being who he was that when I look at how he influenced my universe, he was like a sunbeam – one that still shines inside my heart even though his body is no longer with us.

Dick, I love you.  And, believe it or not, I can still feel that you love me.  Thank you for being a part of my life, Grampa.  I’ll always remember you.

Posted on August 12, 2011, in Blog Posts. Bookmark the permalink. 38 Comments.

  1. What a beautiful memorial.

    My deepest sympathy to you and your family.

  2. This brought tears to my eyes…only a few people come into our lives and leave a mark that strong. This was a lovely post…a lovely tribute…and a lovely example of footprints to follow.

    Thank you for sharing this beautiful insight:)


  3. Very nice, Patti. This is so heartfelt, it’s obvious he was a great man.

  4. What a beautiful tribute to your father-in-law, Patti. You were fortunate to have him in your life and your children were equally lucky to have his kind and gentle nature as an example of how to treat others in a world where sometimes people forget to be nice. May Gramps rest in peace.

  5. You have me in tears. What a beautiful way to honor the man. He’ll always be with you. I’m wrapping arms around you. ((((HUGS)))

  6. Great post, Patti. You made my eyes burn with tears. You know, I believe those who’ve moved on are not really gone. Sometimes, you can just feel their love for you.

    Dick sounds a lot like my Gran. She was the nicest person I’ve ever known. May the universe bless both of them, wherever they’ve ended up. ((hugs))

    • Thanks, Catie. I believe, as you do, that they aren’t truly “gone” as in “nothing of them is around any longer”. That just isn’t the way I think. Call it spirit or kharma or whatever, their “force” is still here.

  7. Love is a beautiful thing…

  8. Oh, Patti, I am so sorry for your loss. Lots of hugs.

  9. So sorry for your loss, Patti. God bless and what a wonderful tribute!

  10. My thoughts are with you today, Patti. We are lucky to be able to write of those we have loved and will remember always. Not only in your heart, but in the things you will remember and incorporate into your writing, years from now, Richard will continue to live on.

    • You know, you’re right, I will be able to write about Dick in my books down the road. As a matter of fact, my third book has an important older character who incorporates many of the positive attributes of Dick. Thanks for commenting.

  11. Beautiful.

    One of my favorite uncles was just buried Saturday. I’m getting teary eyed thinking of both of these good men!

    • Thanks for saying that, Adrienne. There are so many people around me who are passing away, I can’t keep track of them. And so many mourning them afterward. But as many of you have said, they live on in our hearts and minds, so they’re not really “gone”.

  12. The Furniture Lady

    I love this testimony to Dick. I was choked up & suppressing my tears (I just finished putting my make up on). He was soooooooo special & like you, he also made me feel special. He was always positive, such a great sense of humor, so genuinely interested in others. I like to think of him as coming from a heart spot, real, honest, living with integrity, a “real man” deserving of respect. He was also fortunate to have a wonderful daughter-in-law like you. Lovingly, Your Sister Susan

    • Oh, now who’s going to start to cry? I’m not surprised that you felt the same way as I did about Dickie-Boy. He really was a cool dude. Here we are in Monte Rio on vacation and “his room” is empty this year. I miss him so much.

  13. Patti, I’m so sorry for your loss. You are in my prayers, Ashley

  14. Patti,
    You brought tears to my eyes for your loss and for the beauty of those 25 years. What a touching memorial. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

  15. Oh my darling friend. A loss felt indeed. Beautiful tribute and just like others here, brought tears to my eyes. There are some people who live their life with such a deep meaning in touching others. Your father-in-law was obviously one of them. I wish I would have known him and the world is an emptier place with his passing although his rewards must be waiting for him in Heaven. Would you forgive me for taking a moment to honor his passing in knowing how proud he would be of you? You touch people like that too Patti. I know, because I’ve been touched by such a soul. I can only imagine how it will be when we meet in person and we will, my friend.You honor him well by being you and I know his life was enriched in knowing you. The support you received today is reflective of the amazing person you are. So my heart reaches out to that very generous heart of yours that I know is hurting. Take comfort in knowing God is pleased in welcoming home one of His own. He above anyone else knows the value of life lived here. I’m sure you are being smiled upon in a big way today. Love you sweet Patti.

  16. Pat O'Dea Rosen

    Your tribute to Richard is a kiss blown across a room, Patti. I’m sorry for your loss.

  17. Your father-in-law sounds like a really neat person, one whose passing will certainly leave something missing in many lives. So sorry for your loss~

  18. What a beautiful tribute to Grampa. He reminds me of mine, a man who always had a smile and a peppermint candy for me as a little kid.


  19. Your post to your father-in-law touched me today. So lovely and such a wonderful man to inspire your words with his simple acts of kindness and love. I so understand why the world around him will miss his ray of sunshine.

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