Monday, April 9, 2007
You will be missed
I’ve always been told that once you have kids, you never stop being a parent. Whether your children are 2 years old or 42, you’ll always worry about them.
I think it’s also true that kids never stop needing their parents. It’s easy to take for granted that they’ll always be there; after all, they’ve been around since you were born. So when a parent dies unexpectedly, you feel suddenly adrift, left to navigate these choppy waters alone.
My husband’s father died on Thursday, taking away a person Rob could always turn to for advice. Possibly the hardest part for Rob was that his father always had words of wisdom to help him through hard times, and now he’s not here to guide him through his hardest time yet.
When I met my in-laws for the first time, my hair was disheveled, I was wearing a T-shirt that read, “Can’t sleep, clowns will eat me,” and I probably smelled bad after a 15-hour road trip to Texas. Despite these things, Bob and Sherry immediately welcomed me into their home and made me feel like the daughter they never had. They’ve continued to do so ever since, never becoming those legendary evil in-laws that newlyweds always fear.
I only knew Bob for a little more than five years, so I don’t quite feel entitled to the kind of sympathy that his wife and sons deserve. Yet I’m grieving anyway, for lots of reasons – the biggest one being that he’ll never get to hold his first grandchild, hear her laugh, and listen to her say “Grandpa” for the first time. And our daughter will never know what a kind, generous, loving person her grandfather was.
I guess that’s something Rob and I will have to add to our “to-do” list as parents. We’ll have to be the ones to tell her how much she was loved, even before she got here. And we’ll have to help her know her grandfather through our photos and funny little stories. It’s all we can do, and we’ll do our best.