Dad, aka my father-in-law (FIL). I’ve known this man for over 25 years. This man has been a wonderful influence in my life. My in-laws have been married just over 70 years now. This is the first year they have been separated. My MIL is in a nursing home and Dad lives in a residential home. Dad is doing well all things considered. We picked him up last Thursday to spend Thanksgiving with us. I’m so glad we did.

Dad is the favorite amongst all of us. My husband has 4 brothers and sisters. Everyone of us has said if anything happened to my MIL, we’d take Dad. It would’ve been a battle had it not worked out as it has.

My FIL is a quiet, unassuming man, who worked hard for a living. He was a general contractor for over 50 years and taught my husband the meaning of doing the job right, the first time. He has a wonderful sense of family and a great sense of humor. His workmanship in even the smallest things are from days gone by. My husband carries that same pride in workmanship with him to this day.

When my husband and I decided to get married, we were stationed in Germany. We had 30 days to come home and get married. We called his parents and they made all of the arrangements. I had spoken to his parents on the phone, but had never met them. After the long flight back to the States and after we had gotten our luggage, we found his parents. My FIL, whom I had never met, opened his arms (literally) and said, “let me welcome my new daughter to the family” and gave me a hug. That meant the world to me and to this day that moment is one of the most special things to happen in my life.

After dinner on Thanksgiving, we were sitting on the couch talking. He leaned over and put his hand over mine and told me how pleased he was that he was with us. He was having a great time. Just about brought me to tears. The best thing we did was have him spend the day with us. I cherish all of it.

He’s a bit more fragile nowadays, more deaf than he used to be, a bit more shaky when he walks (he has the cutest walker with wheels), but still he is “Dad.”

(**the photo is Dad with his 5 kids, taken at his 90th birthday party in 2008**)

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