Posted by Ethne~
Hey everyone. We've had some sad news in our extended family and I want to tell you about it because I want my sister-in-law, Mel's dad to be remembered for all time, and because I want us to call those important to us - RIGHT NOW - and say 'I love you'.
|Mel's dad, Jon|
Mel's dad, Jon, was the greatest guy. He was a million miles tall, terribly easy-going and you could tell he was kind just by looking at him. You liked him before you even knew him. Mel's mom, Wendy, is a million miles short, and I remember as kids they'd go for evening walks and I could always pick them out, for their height difference (they were a perfect match). Jon always watched Mel's games and recitals, always put gas in Wendy's car and welcomed Mel's husband, Rich, into his life as his own. He enjoyed vacationing with friends, gardening and spending time with his family. (Jon always made me laugh, which won my heart. He called my Shaun "Ralphie", for instance, following events best left unsaid at Rich & Mel's wedding.)
|Wendy, Mel, Rich & Jon|
Jon passed unexpectedly last week. He was only 60.
Now that I'm in my 30's, I realize that my parents are static in my mind. When I picture them in my mind, they are not in their 60's, they're in their 40's. Like they were when we stopped officially living together 18 years ago. (wtf) I know it's not true, but that's the age my mind picks. Then, when I see the pictures of us together now, I think something must be off. Sometimes I'm looking at my crow's feet, but usually it's that my mom/dad in the picture and mom/dad in my head aren't matching up.
Last week brought to the fore that our parents, while not "old", aren't going to live forever. I have a good relationship with my parents, and talk to them almost every day. We say I love you. I know Mel, Jon and Wendy always did too. Even if we can't remember the contents of the last conversation we had, we will know how we ended it, and that it was good.
Next time you sign off the phone with mom, dad or your most-loved, think of Jon quick and tell them how you feel. Just in case it's your last opportunity. Thank-you for that reminder, Jon. You will be missed by so many. xoxo
Now, any ideas how I can convince Ralphie to go put some gas in my car?