Monday, April 27, 2015

Another Passage


To my dearly departed stepfather-in-law:

I wanted to take this space to thank you for the past fifteen years. For the advice, guidance, and knowledge imparted.  For your razor sharp wit.  For your compassion - not just toward me but to so many individuals of wildly different social strata.  You treated everyone the same, showing love in a manner of the Christ you followed.  You encouraged this former Baptist to appreciate and even take joy in a Catholic mass.  I wish you could've witnessed the memorial service at your parish, the one at which you worshipped and volunteered for so many years. It was a beautiful time. It brought so many family and friends together.

There is an incredible amount to recollect, to write down. Our many conversations that spanned topics of art, science, theology, politics.  You were fascinated by my career in audiology as you had much knowledge of both medical and acoustic studies.  We shared a similar appreciation for both the low- and high-brow.  Lots of laughter.  Some tears, some anger. You had me over for music appreciation - lights down low listening of classical and even The Beatles.  Memories of those once a month Saturday nights when you and my mother-in-law opened your home to your neighbors, including a guy named Harry, documented here so many times.  You took the reigns after his death, organizing the shambles of a house he left behind. A formidable task.

I take special delight in knowing that your final meeting with my wife's father, at my grandmother's funeral a mere few months ago, was a cordial one, a peaceful coda quite different from a rather discordant past between you and he.  
 
I want to believe that somehow you can read all these thoughts. That you're chatting with my grandmother in that sweet by and by.  That thought provides comfort now.  Please know that my wife and I loved and still love you for eternity.  You have left behind beautiful children and grandchildren, all of whom will miss you more than metrics can express.  We will grieve, be reduced to a bag of tears for many days to come, but we will also smile at your memory, your legacy.  I still hear your voice.  That reassuring, gentle tone.

R.I.P., Mr. Roy.  We'll be seeing you.


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