In my blog, I have referred to Sully’s parents as Martha and T.W. As in, Martha and Thomas Wayne, the parents of Bruce Wayne, a.k.a. Batman. Sully loves Batman, and often comically quotes the “I am Batman” line, so it seemed appropriate. Sully’s dad’s name really starts with a ‘J’ and his mom’s with a ‘G’.
This is the letter that I wrote for J., it was read at his memorial service last Friday.
I first met J. at a Diamondbacks baseball game thirteen years ago. It was before Sully and I started dating, we had both gotten tickets to the game from a coworker. At one point Sully asked me if I was enjoying the game. I told him, “yes, except for one thing. It would be better if they were playing football”. Sully said, “yeah” and J. started laughing. I didn’t know it at the time but I had just scored my first brownie points with my future father in law.
In the years that followed, J. and I bonded over a few more subjects…
Our love of Disneyland and Disney World, when we were getting ready for a trip, J. was the first one packed and ready to go out the door. We took Boo to Disneyland for the first time when she was two years old and I honestly believe he was more excited than she was. It was about that time that he started calling her Tinkerbell. He and M. took us all to DisneyWorld in 2005, it was wonderful and I have great memories of that trip.
Knights and castles, after Sully and I got engaged, I confessed that I really wanted a Renaissance wedding. J. was all for it and wondered aloud if he could wear a sword. He was Sully’s best man and was very supportive during the chaos that comes with planning a wedding. He was always calm and ready to solve any problem that came up.
Home Depot and power tools, J. was always happy to answer all of what I called ‘dad questions’. You know those questions. How do I rewire a lamp? Will quarter inch plywood work for that? J. always had an answer ready and if he didn’t he would find the answer, especially after I lost my father in 2007. Even when he was in hospice he was offering advice. I had told him about the gazebo that was outside his room and my ideas for building one. All of a sudden he perks up and tells me to bring him a drafting table, triangles and some paper so that he can draw up plans for a gazebo. Seriously? But that was truly the way he was.
Boo, he was an incredible grandfather. We called him Papa and Boo actually picked that name when she was itty bitty. One night we were there for dinner and when J. came home from work she ran to the door chanting, ‘Pa-pa, Pa-pa, Pa-pa’. It brought tears to my eyes that night just as much as it does now. We love you, Papa.
He was an amazing father in law, a second father really, always patient and ready to help. I will miss him as much as I miss my own father, and although their absence in our lives is painful, I know that their journey is not over.
Prayer of Farewell for Samhain
You are going home to your home of winter,
To your home of autumn, of spring, and of summer;
You are going home to the Land of the Living.
To the restful haven of the waveless sea.
Peace of the Seven Lights be upon you, beloved,
Peace of the Seven Joys be upon you, beloved,
Peace of the Seven Loves be upon you, beloved,
On the breast of the Mother of Blessings,
In the arms of the Father of Life.