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 Responses

  1. Oh, I am so sorry, Jo-Lynne, for your husband your family’s loss.  That is so sad.  I do think it’s surreal grieving from a distance.  I have no great words, but my sincere condolences.  

  2. I’m very sorry for your family’s loss of Sam. My thoughts are with you during this difficult time.

  3. I’m very sorry for your loss.  He sounds like a wonderful father and grandfather.  My heartfelt condolences.

  4. My heart felt sympathy to you, your husband and family over your father in law’s death. He sounds like a wonderful man. I hope that you all can get together to celebrate his life via memorial later in time when the lock down eases up. Praying for you and your family.

  5. So sorry for your loss! This is probably the hardest part of quarantine, not being able to be together to grieve. My prayers to your family.

  6. I’m so sorry for your family’s loss.  Such a rough time to experience loss.  A memorial service can really be a lovely thing.  Last year we wen to one and it was a beautiful celebration of a family member’s life.  Peace and condolences to your family.  Cindy

  7. I, too, am so sorry for your loss. My parents both died in their fifties, and I was in my twenties.  My mother-in-law died at a young age, also, 20 years ago next month. My father in law was our last remaining parent for 15 years, and it was surreal and very painful when he died almost 5 years ago. We have had several people we know die since the virus began, and I think the hardest part is not being able to have gatherings to share the loss together. I think your tribute to him was lovely. 

  8. I am so very sorry for the loss of Paul’s father. I can’t imagine how hard it must be for the family to not be able to all come together for decision making and consoling. Sending prayers to you and your family. 

  9. Dear Jo Lynne my deepest sympathies to Paul, yourself and your children. For some reason  I didn’t get your coffee talk yesterday and just clicked on the house button from Saturday’s post.  What a terrible loss during such a terrible and uncertain time. Yes think about the days ahead when you can all gather and pay tribute and hold each other and share happy stories and memories, laugh and cry . My thoughts and prayers go out to you all and to Paul’s mother and family 🙂

  10. So sorry for your loss. It’s so hard to lose someone you love and that is so dear and special to your family!! May you find comfort and peace during this difficult and sad time. ❤️

  11. I’m so very sorry for your loss, my thoughts and prayers go out to you and your family in these odd times.

  12. I’m so sorry to learn of your father-in-law’s passing. Your family is in my thoughts during this very difficult time.

  13. My sincere condolences to you and your family. May your precious memories sustain you during this difficult time.

  14. I am SO sorry for your loss.  Please accept my condolences and prayers for God’s peace, comfort and strength during this difficult time.  ❤️🙏🏻

  15. JoLynne,
    I’ve followed you for years and only commented once before, but I must today. I am so sorry for the loss you all are feeling. I agree with everyone else, his legacy will certainly live on. Prayers for the entire family as you all navigate your way through a time like no other.

  16. I’m so very sorry to read this. Paul’s Dad sounds like such a wonderful man and I can’t imagine the loss and heartache you are all going through. Prayers and thoughts for your family.

  17. I’m so sorry for your loss. We lost my father in law in February and I’m so glad we were able to celebrate him before the lockdown started. It was hard to arrange everything then, I cant imagine doing it now.

  18. So sorry for your loss. I lost my grandmother during this Covid crisis as well. I took comfort in these words from my devotional the day after she died when we were all sad about the terrible timing of it all. He sounds like a wonderful Godly man. “The absolute certainty of your heavenly home gives you Peace and Joy to help you along your journey. You know that you will reach your home in My perfect timing; not one moment to soon or too late.”

  19. I’m so sorry for your families loss. He sounds like wonderful man in every way. Your tribute to him is very special. Prayers and hugs for your family. 

  20. I am so sorry for your loss.  My brother in law lost his father 3 weeks ago, not to covid, and the hardest part is not being able to all get together. Prayers to you and your family.

  21. Jo-Lynne, 

    I’m so sorry for you all. You and your family will be in my prayers. Your words are a perfect tribute to him. 

  22. I love that you wrote “he was a quiet man who loved his family”. This is such a legacy. I’m so sorry for your loss.

  23. Dear Jo-Lynne and family-I am so very sorry to hear about the loss of Paul’s dad. He sounds like  a wonderful father,  father-in-law and grandparent and I know you all are grieving & will miss him very much. I will be praying for your family as I know  this is a difficult time to lose someone. Virtual hugs to you all! 

  24. Jo Lynne I am so very sorry about Paul’s father passing…It’s such a trying time right now even without a death to deal with but makes it especially hard to mourn your loved one when you can’t comfort other family members…I had that experience on April 6th. My older brother died from lung cancer… He lives in Southern Missouri where I grew up…I could not stay away from the service and the viewing of him…I have 5 siblings and I needed to see them and the rest of my nieces and my sister in law…I would not have lived with myself for not going …We drove 9 hours to get there and met the family at the funeral home…We keep our safe distance but we were able to sit and visit with each other…The service was outside at the funeral home and it was very short and everyone kept their distance…I m so glad I was able to go, because the pastor did an excellent talk about my brother…It was healing for me…. I will keep you and your family and Paul in my prayers…I pray that Paul and the family get through this time with the knowledge that God loves you all . Again so sorry for your loss of your father in law…. Bev Brown

  25. Jo-Lynne,
    So sorry to hear about the passing of Paul’s father. Gramps sounded like a terrific man and I’m sure you will all feel his loss in your lives. Not being able to come together for a funeral service makes it so difficult for everyone. My thoughts and prayers are with you all.

  26. So sorry to hear this jolynne, how heartbreaking.  Will keep you and your family in my prayers!

  27. Just a short note to say I’m so sorry for your loss.  It’s hard any time but seems a little harder now.  It sounds like your mother in law has some good support in her family.  So hard.  My prayers and thoughts are with you and your family.  

  28. My heart breaks for your family as you, Paul and the kids grieve dad, Sam and Gramps. Not being able to gather, grieve together and memorialize your beloved relative is sad. My prayers and hugs to all of you. 


  29. Oh I’m soo sorry to hear of his passing.  Sounds like his was a wonderful husband, father, grandfather.  Your Coffee Talk was a beautiful tribute to him.  Aside from all the other life changes from this virus, the most difficult, at least to me, is the passing of loved ones and not being able to be with them at the end, in one way or another.  Just so sad, they deserve better.  We, too lost a family member 2 days after Christmas, and had his service scheduled (with full military honors) for the end of March. It is now on hold indefinitely.  We were all proud of his 37 years in the military.  I sure your strong faith will carry you through this, but it’s just a sad time…..God Bless You My Friend….

  30. So sorry for the loss of Paul’s father.  It’s wonderful even his daughter-in-law has such fond memories of him, a true tribute to him.  

  31. I’m so sorry to hear of your father in laws passing. I know losing a loved one is difficult at any time but during these strange times, I’m sure  it’s even more difficult and unsettling.  My deepest condolences to you and your family. 

  32. Jo-Lynne, I’m so sorry for the loss of Paul’s father. He sounds like a wonderful man who will be missed by many. Hugs to you and your family. 

  33. My condolences to you and your family.  Your father-in-law seemed like a wonderful man.  Take care and peace to you ~

  34. So sorry to hear about your father-in-law. I loved reading your description of him. It’s always good to get a little glimpse of someone you didn’t know at all. He sounds like a wonderful man. 

  35. Oh JoLynne I’m so sorry about the loss of your father-in-law. It sounds like he was a great man and that you had a special relationship with him. Hopefully when all this COVID mess clears, you can enjoy family and friends time sharing happy memories together. ❤️

  36. I’m so sorry for your loss. You clearly have a beautiful family. And you write beautifully too
    Thank you for sharing 

  37. I’m so sorry to hear of your father-in-law’s passing! Praying for your family’s comfort during this time of sorrow.

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

  39. 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.

  40. 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.

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

  42. Jolynne,

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

  43. 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.

  44. 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.

  45. 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.

  46. 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.

  47. 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.

  48. 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!

  49. 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.  

  50. 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!

  51. 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. 

  52. 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.

  53. 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.

  54. 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!

  55. 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!

  56. 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

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

  58. 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.

  59. 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.

  60. 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.  

  61. 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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