I’ve written before about people I’ve lost. I will do that again here (one specifically), but I also want to write about people I’ve gained.
My father-in-law was a wonderful man. He was kind, sweet, smart, caring, generous, and loved life. My oldest boy, Z, would always make him laugh. All of his grandkids did, but this blog is from my perspective, so please pardon me if I don’t mention the other grandchildren more. He called him “Sport” and would always tease me and J about the “fits” that kid was giving us, and would continue to give us in the future. He loved hearing the new things Z had done, learned, said, in a way that only grandparents can. Z was only 18 months old when he lost his grandfather. How we lost him is another blog, but suffice it to say it was a freak accident. A sudden loss. An unexpected hole blasted in our hearts.
But our family has grown since then.
My husband and I have given him another grandson, M. Wow, my father-in-law (and us) only THOUGHT Z was a handful! Whew!!! M exhausts me just watching him. He is so full of energy, and mischief. I never know what he’s going to say. Or do. I have not yet figured out how his mind works, and frankly, I don’t think I want to know. He makes me laugh daily. And shake my head in disbelief. And rant and rave. And pray for patience. And blame my husband for all of his bad traits (even though he clearly got them from my side of the family. Shhhhh! Don’t tell J that I admitted that.) He is a charmer, though. He can smile and you have to smile with him. He laughs and you have to laugh with him. He brings joy (and frustration, lol) everywhere he goes. His Papaw would have LOVED him. I don’t mean just with his heart, but with sense of humor, with his mind, and with his heart.
M would have had Papaw wrapped around his little finger, too. I have no doubt about that whatsoever. M would have pulled one of his stunts that make me want to strangle him and Papaw would have laughed, shaken his head, and said (as he did so many times with Z), “He’s all boy, isn’t he. It’s terrible to spank a kid just ’cause he feels good.” So, of course, I couldn’t have spanked him then. No matter how much he needed it. Yes, M would’ve loved Papaw just as much as Papaw would’ve loved him.
My husband also gave his dad a granddaughter. We found out about her just a couple of years ago (another long story), but she is a joy. Her mother is from a previous marriage, and H just turned 13. Only 13. And she’s 5 inches taller than I am. *sigh* Yes, I’m vertically challenged, but that’s beside the point. H is pretty awesome. She got all of her dad’s best traits. She’s sweet, funny, smart, easy-going, and caring. Her Papaw B (she calls her other grandfather Papaw) would have loved her, too. See, she’s just like he was. H takes after her dad, and her dad takes after his dad. Seriously, it’s like they were cloned. Well, except she’s a little goofier (actually more than “a little”), and she’s a girl. This family is pretty amazing.
And H would’ve loved her Papaw B. He would’ve spoiled her just as much as her other Papaw. He would’ve given her the moon if she’d asked for it. She’d have wrapped him around her little finger, too. Just like she has her dad. But I have to say, she doesn’t over-step. She doesn’t push the limits. She’s just so quietly sweet, that people want to give her things just to see her smile. She doesn’t manipulate like so many kids do (including my boys that know exactly how to get what they want out of Mamaw B.) She’s just H.
My husband’s brother, K, has also gotten married, gained two step-daughters, and had a little girl of his own. My father-in-law would really have loved to see that. K had some problems that slowed down his family creating abilities (a third long story, and not mine to tell), but everything seems back on track for him. As much as I know my father-in-law would have loved to see the family that J and I have gained, I know in my heart that K’s life now would have brought him more happiness and peace than any of you can possibly imagine.
So we lost one. And we’ve gained six. But each of those six lost one they never knew. And that was a treasure of which they can never know the value.
I do like to think of my father-in-law looking down from Heaven and smiling. Happy at what he left behind. Proud of how we’ve grown. Laughing at our children and how they make us pull our hair out. Yes, I can see him laughing at us all. And that makes me smile through all of the tears.