This is not what I was planning on posting today, but, as has been said, life is what happens while you are busy making other plans.
My father-in-law, almost 80, in pain from a back injury 2 1/2 years ago but still fairly active, passed away suddenly this afternoon.
He was a good and loving man, a throwback to the pre-WWII days of large families and heavy on working hard and raising a family the "right" way, with love, discipline (if needed), a rock-solid faith in God, and an unspoken but discernible love for this country.
He was a little reserved at times, but had his witty side. He had "only" a high school education, but managed to work hard enough and well enough to work for Ohio Bell (that was what we called the telephone company back then) for 37 years before retiring, spending many of those years in management. He had an artist's skill in woodworking, making cabinets, bookcases, furniture, and anything else he was asked to do. He also was an excellent handyman, working as easily with electrical and plumbing as he did with wood.
When his daughter-in-law was undergoing chemotherapy during her struggle with breast cancer, he spent many, many hours with her, taking her to her treatments and passing the time with her as he tried to help her through her ordeal.
He did not always specifically say "I love you" to us all, but it was readily apparent in his eyes and his smile, hug and handshake every time you saw him. He helped welcome me into his family as I began to date, then eventually marry his daughter. I could not have had a finer man to be my father-in-law.
Dad was a tireless worker, keeping busy even when he should have been resting his aching back and legs.
The heavens are a little brighter today, while we down here are wiping away our tears. He is no longer in pain, and he will be sorely missed.
R.I.P. Dad, from all of us. We love you and will miss you so much.