Coffee Talk 05.17.20

Somehow, I blinked, and it’s halfway through May! Does anyone else feel that way?

I expected these past few months of isolation and social distancing to feel like they were crawling by at a snail’s pace, but they’ve gone by pretty fast, all things considered. I guess it’s true that time flies whether you’re having fun or not.

This has been a rough few weeks for our family for several reasons, the main one being, we lost Paul’s father on Friday. He’s been declining for some time, but this was rather unexpected.

A week or so ago, he got sick (not COVID-related) and never recovered. He passed away peacefully on Friday, surrounded by his family.

Of course, there can be no proper service for him right away, so it all feels rather surreal. We’ve been able to see Paul’s mother, but there can be no big group gathering for some time, and that just seems so wrong.

He worked hard and lived a quiet life, and he was a leader in the community and his church. He loved his wife and raised three good men who are loyal husbands and loving fathers, and a daughter who is a devoted wife and mom and a special aunt to my kids. He deserves his moment of recognition and remembrance, and we should all be together, reminiscing and telling funny Sam stories, laughing through tears.

Instead, we’re all hunkered down in our own homes, working through our emotions independently, making big decisions via email and group texts. It’s not the way it’s supposed to be, but at least I can take comfort in the fact that his wife and kids were able to be with him during his last days, when so many who have lost loved ones during the past few months can’t say the same.

When I shared his obituary on Facebook, I wrote that I couldn’t have asked for a better father-in-law. That may sound trite, but it’s true.

Paul’s parents were at many of our kids’ ball games and concerts over the years, and we spent a lot of holidays together… so many memories. This picture is from Mother’s Day 2015, and it’s one of my favorites.

Gramps, as my kids called him, could fix almost anything. For years, he made intricate Christmas ornaments for each of us that we will treasure forever. He was an avid sports fan, but he also appreciated music and theater, and he was well-traveled. He enjoyed golfing and bowling, and he could play a mean game of cards. He was full of facts and figures and could do complex math equations in his head, and he was always ready with a dry one-liner. But most importantly, he was always there for his family.

I married into the family 25 years ago this summer, and I’m grateful we had him for so many years. One day, when the worst of this COVID crisis is over, we will all gather and celebrate his life and share our memories. I’m looking forward to that.

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81 thoughts on “Coffee Talk 05.17.20

  1. So sorry to hear about the passing of your father-in-law. Thoughts and prayers to your family.

  2. So sorry for your loss. A loss is difficult at the best of times, but during these times even harder. May your memories of him that you all share bring you comfort.

  3. First of all, my sympathy to you for your loss. Reading the other messages, were a wonderful show of love and support. I especially loved the family from Missouri who decided to have an open air funeral with social distancing. Wonderful idea now that we are warmer and no snow. I wonder when they are going to lift the isolation. We have recently had the lift and it has been wonderful. Hope yours is soon as well. Virtual hugs.

  4. Jo-Lynne, I’m so sorry for your loss! Sending prayers for peace and comfort during this difficult time. Much love, Karen

  5. Jolynne,

    Just got to read your sad news. I am so sorry for your loss. God bless you and your entire family.

  6. Dear Jo-Lynne,
    I want to add my condolences on the passing of your father-in-law. Our family went through a sad time last year with the death of my father-in-law, and then my mom 7 weeks later. It does bring families together for remembering and grieving. Hope you can do that soon, in person. I am sure your mother-in-law is more than grateful to have such a loving and attentive family to help her through. May God grant you all peace and comfort.

  7. Jo-Lynne,

    I just read your Coffee Talk today, a couple days late. I’m so sorry for your loss. Your Father-in-Law sounds like a wonderful man who loved being a grandpa. God bless you and your family.

  8. I’m so sorry for your family’s loss.  What a wonderful tribute to Paul’s father.  I’m so sorry you can’t all be together right now.   You are all in my prayers.

  9. Jo-Lynne – my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family at this difficult time. Sending good thoughts your way as you try to deal with all this.

  10. I am so sorry for your loss. May he rest in peace, and may God provide comfort and strength for you and your family during this difficult time.
    Your tribute to him was well written and so beautiful.

  11. I’m in the process of unexpectedly moving so I didn’t see this until now. I’m so sorry for the loss your entire family is experiencing. I lost both my parents last year. They were in their 90’s but I’ve decided you’re never really prepared for it and you never really get over it. That’s what love does. I do hope that your family can feel peace with the memories of a life well lived and love shared. Hopefully you can join with extended family soon to honor your father-in-law, reminisce and give and receive strength. Sending hugs!

  12. I’m so sorry to read about the passing of your father-in-law. I’m just now catching up on reading your blog posts from the past couple of days. 
    You brought him to life for me, and he definitely sounded like a wonderful man. I’m sure  he will be terribly missed. Though my words are not terribly original, please know how sorry i am.  

  13. For some reason, this did not show up in my feed on Sunday.  I am so very sorry for your loss!  It sounds like Paul’s dad was a great man and will be truly missed by so many.  I pray that his wife will not be alone as she try’s to adjust.  I will continue to pray for all of you!

  14. Just seeIng this post. I’m so sorry for your loss and not being able to support each other in person. Your writing about him was a lovely tribute – you are all so blessed to have had such a fine man in your lives. Your family will be in my prayers. 

  15. I missed your Coffee Talk Sunday. I just want you and your family to know that I am sorry for your loss. I remember when my father died. I still lean on my father ‘s words of wisdom and guidance. You will always have that too.

  16. Oh Jo-Lynne! I’m so very sorry to hear of your great loss. My deepest sympathies to you, Paul, and your kids. Paul’s dad sounds just awesome. I’m glad you have so many happy memories to treasure. This is such a hard time, and such a tragic loss. May God grant your family peace.

  17. Dear Jo-Lynne – So very sorry for you, Paul and your family in the loss of Paul’s father. This is such a hard time and even more so to have lost a dear, loved one and want to be together to honor him and share sweet memories! That time will come. I pray that you will find comfort in God’s love and promises! What a wonderful tribute to him – I know he must have been a wonderful man!

  18. So very sorry for your loss JoLynne. What a beautiful tribute to your father in law and the rest of your family, so nicely written. You have definitely been blessed by all of them, cherish the memories and look forward to getting everyone together to celebrate, I hope that is very soon. Prayers for you all!

  19. Jo-Lynne,
    I’m so sorry to hear about the passing of your father-in-law. He sounds like such a sweetie. I know you will miss him. I loved that he made intricate Christmas ornaments. So thoughtful. You will all have lots of memories to discuss especially during the holidays. Know that he’s paying attention to all of you whenever you think of him. Truly.

    All my best,

    Julie Marshall

  20. So sorry for your loss. I can imagine everyone is heartbroken that they cannot grieve together. Prayers for comfort and strength at this time. 

  21. Finally catching up with my posts when I read this. So terribly sorry for your loss- it is such an awful time to lose a loved one. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

  22. For some reason I didn’t get your Coffee Talk this week in my email. Your family has my most sincerest condolences for your loss. What a great tribute to him. I pray y’all are able to get together to celebrate Sam’s life very soon.

  23. My sincere condolences to you and your husband and the entire family. It sounds as though he lived life the best way and left a lasting legacy in his family. May God give your comfort during this time.  

  24. Hi Jo-Lynne
    I am just catching ip on some of your posts and so sorry to see your father in law passed away. Also now reading the news about your puppy.  It has been a rough time but particularly for your family.  We are a family with two teens and two dogs so I understand the connection. Keeping you all in our thoughts and prayers.


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