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.