Thursday, December 17, 2015

An Open Letter to My Father-in-Law in Heaven

Dear Jim,

Christmas is next week, and I can't help but remember the year you bought that little yellow Corvette for our precious girl. She really loves that car, you know. And she loves you. So much.

As I sit here and think of you, I wish I could tell you how very much we miss you. How Cora will talk about you at the most random times, how she'll get really quiet and say "I just miss Poppee" when we ask her what's wrong. How your son wishes more than anything to see you on Christmas, and how he remembers - with a smile on his face and tears in his eyes - all the things you did for him growing up. All the sacrifices you made so that he could have an amazing childhood.

I wish I could tell you in person how overwhelmingly thankful I am to you for loving me the way you did. You always made me feel welcome - like part of the family. You treated me with kindness. And for that, I will be eternally grateful.

I wish I could thank you for loving my children with all your heart, for always bringing crackers and treats for them, making them feel special - even if it meant spending your last dime. I will always remember the way their faces lit up every time you visited.

And finally, I wish I could tell you how happy your son makes me, and what an amazing husband and father he is. I know you were proud of him while you were here on Earth and that you're proud of him even now, looking down on us from Heaven. But I worry that I didn't show you often enough how proud I am of him, too - so I want you to know that I am. And I owe you so much for teaching him what it means to be a hardworking, supportive man.

All these things I wish I could say to you will forever be held captive in my heart. I can only hope that, somehow, you know.

We never imagined that we wouldn't have you with us this year for Christmas. I know God needed you and that it was time for you to leave your imperfect earthly body. But that knowledge only slightly diminishes the pain. My heart aches for your sons, your mother, your grandchildren, and, yes, your daughters-in-law. All of our souls will forever have a Poppee-sized hole in them.

So today, I will hold your son and grandchildren a little more tightly. I will love more fully. And I will laugh more often, remembering that these days on Earth are numbered.


We love you and miss you.
Merry Christmas in Heaven, Poppee.