Monday morning my husband came home early and broke the devastating news that his father had passed away. We are deeply saddened at this unexpected loss and at the overwhelming impact Randy has had on our lives. Randy was there hours after I had given birth to each one of my babies. I have fond memories of him holding David in the NICU only a year after his sweet wife (Brian’s mom) passed on. We all thought David was a birthday present to Randy that year. While I finished college, Randy and Brian mixed bottles and babysat those long winter days. Oh how I’m going to miss the smell of Old Spice on my babies after spending a day at grandpa’s or from sitting on his lap at church. Charlie keeps running around the house saying “ba-pa’s house! ba-pa’s house!” Even at two, he was fighting over grandpa’s attention and love with the other grandkids. At family dinners there won’t be our “left-handers” corner at the table.

When everything went pear-shaped after David was diagnosed with diabetes, my father-in-law was one of the first to learn how to give injections, check blood sugars and take care of David so we could have a date night every once in a blue moon. For a parent of a diabetic, those nights came few and far between. Oh how I wish I had been more grateful for those times instead of worrying about stupid blood sugars.

At this time, the only comfort that we have is that he is now so happy to be reunited with Brian’s mom Sandy. These last eight years have not been easy for him with her passing. I know it was a happy reunion and has been long awaited by him. While we have been clinging on to such a great man, I feel blessed to know that someday we will see him again too and be together as a family.

I feel so blessed to be married to a husband that is so much like his father. While this tears our hearts apart, I know that Brian had the best father a boy could ask for, and that their relationship will be one that will be sorely missed. Everything that I love about Brian I can attribute to that amazing man – to his wonderful parents. From drive, hard work and passion to love, sensitivity and kindness I’m so honored to know that I can look at my husband’s hands and see his father’s mannerisms and determination in them. In the way he holds our children close, the way he ties flies for fishing, the the rough skin from rowing a boat day in and day out on the river. A great man has left the earth this week and we will forever be in awe of all the lives he touched but especially for being the best father to Brian, father-in-law to me, and loving grandpa to our children. He will not be forgotten, especially by his grandchildren.