It’s been nearly a year since my father-in-law abruptly left.
He did not die but disease and deception pulled him away.
Poof, he was gone.
No goodbye, no thank you, no I love you.
The wounds are healing. We have moved forward. We welcomed a Brazilian exchange student into our home for the school year. We now have a delightful dog. Two of our olive shoots proposed. The Hubs will enjoy a new knee in less than a month! We know how to keep things lively!
But as our ministry-minded middle announced his plans to marry, I envisioned the rehearsal dinner. I considered the food, the venue, flowers, decorations, it is one of my favorite things to do. Yet my spirit was unsettled about one major issue. How do we reconcile the fact that Aaron will probably never hear from his grandpa again? Although I will never understand the circumstances surrounding his strange departure or the vast amounts of pain this created, the Lord is sovereign. That’s the only part that gives me peace.
I do know that my FIL loved Aaron. He cared deeply about his grandkids, he was understandably proud of the men and women they had become.
That is why I included pictures of my husband’s parents’ wedding in the decorations. Unless you have been in a similar situation, you may not appreciate the significance. I also had a photo of my parent’s wedding even though my mom has remarried and my dad’s been gone for over 25 years. But positioning that little framed picture of my in-law’s on the table was like moving a boulder. I didn’t want to cause my husband any more anguish. In addition to not having my FIL with us, our Soldier would be missing the festivities due to his deployment to Qatar. The Hubs was ok with seeing the photo again, bless his incredible heart.
The placement of that wedding picture announced that the poison cocktail of Alzheimer’s, vascular dementia and deception would NEVER erase the good memories we cling to each day.
Joy and celebration conquered sadness and grief. We chose to honor and cherish.
On the other side of this life because of our faith in Jesus, we will see him again.
Good move, Cindy. I really feel like Ruth would have been proud and so honored to be part of the day and that when Hugh is restored in Heaven, that they will together celebrate the growth of their family. The picture brought tears of remembrance to my eyes and it was so super thoughtful of you to creatively address such a painful situation.
Thanks John. With all the other emotions taking place at the time, I admit to conveniently even omitting the picture, no one would have known the difference except me and maybe Mark. We did our best loving him and I really appreciate your kindness and tender thoughts.