Wednesday, May 2, 2007
7 years ago today a son, a brother, a father, a grandfather, a marine, a barber passed. He was also my father-in-law and though I didn't know him as long as I would have liked to. I do know that he was a hard worker and was dedicated to his family.
He always worked hard all of his life to help support his mother and take care of his younger siblings. He took charge as the father figure when there was no father around. The mediator and mentor to his brothers and sisters. When he became a father to his only son he did everything he could to be a great father. The sky was pretty much the limit to what he would not do for his son. Even though the sky was limit he still wanted to instill life lessons to be learned in him. This usually came about when his poor newly wedded son would ask to borrow money to pay a bill or two. He would start out with a lecture about staying in school and that he should't always expect a handout. Followed with "the look". When you got "the look" you knew it, it's just something not explained and you knew you were in trouble or were going to be lectured. He always came through and would slip his son a couple hundred or three. He never expected to be paid back, he loved the thought of knowing he could take of his son and family no matter what.
A jack of all trades you might call him. He joined the Marines at an early age and married his sweetheart Sue only to be wisked away to California where he was stationed. As he got out of the marines he started out working at the post office. He then ventured on to owning several convienence stores from throughout Tulsa clear to Branson. He finally found his niche being a barber. What better way to work than to cut hair, chat with friends, and watch golf on the big t.v. at the shop?
His one set back from living life to the fullest was his heart. All though a heart full of gold it had many flaws. Heartattack kind of flaws several heartattacks and surgeries to fix it, only in need of repair again and again. In the last few years which is when I met him. He was still sickly and doctors just determined it was all due to the meds he was on and his background. When they finally decided a transplant was in order, a full round of testing led them to find he had cancer and a short time to live.
He spent most of his last few weeks with his year old grandson. He was his glimmer of light in the darkness. During this stressful time we were also dealing with the fragilty of life of wonderboy. My dear hubby was so torn between who to go to in this time of need when both his son and father needed him so. As soon as I was somewhat able to get up and around I knew it was time for both of us to go to him. I knew that wonderboys care was in very good hands in the NICU and there really wasn't a lot we could do at the moment but pray. So we raced to Tulsa 4 hours away to be at his side not realizing or denying the end was so near. I'm sure that he held out to wait for us. When we arrived did we really realize how badly things were.
He was able to speak individually to me and to C. I don't remember a lot of the conversation as this whole little section of my life was an endless fog with so much going on. I do remember the most important thing he told me. "You must take care of yourself, if your going to take care of these boys." These words really rang out loud and clear and have never been forgotten.
We left that night for our motel room exhausted yet still in denial. We were sure that he would be around for another day. Around midnight that night the motel manager knocked loudly on the door. My husband not being one to rise willingly. Finally answered the door and was handed a note saying Your father is dead call your Aunt Mary.
He waited for us, waited to see his second grandson on video hooked to a ventilator and tubes everywhere. His little body just barely the size of my hand. He knew that it was time and that he had work elsewhere and that he could have a better manage of things from above. He could watch over his grandsons and sons in a way he would never have been able to down here.
Here's to you Wayne and we will always keep your memory alive.
There will be more future posts of great stories to tell.