Monday, November 17, 2008
In loving memory
A son, a husband, a father, a grandfather, a friend.
When someone passes from this life, it is customary to give them praise, to extol every virtue, to remember their good traits and to remind others of all the good they have done. I don't know all the stories from John's life, am not aware of all the lives he has touched; I'm sure they are plentiful. But, I do know how he has touched mine. John makes being a dad and granddad something bright and beautiful. When my daughter, Cyndi, married his son, Morgan, he took her under his wing and into his life. He gave her the precious gift of acceptance and love.
Morgan and Jenny, his children, were never far from his thoughts. I know this because even when they were not present, he spoke of them with pride and often told funny things they had done and said throughout their lives. Things that brought a twinkle to his eye and laughter to the hearts of all of us.
His grandkids were his very existence. My husband, Gary, and I share a couple of grandchildren with John and Barbara so we have enjoyed many a birthday cake and festive dinners with them. John loved to tease and I'll always remember that mischievous look on his face amidst explosive giggles and squeals.
He was an ardent supporter of scouting; he lived and taught the scouting ideal to generations of boys.
Sports was a driving passion: sleet or snow, near or far, he was a regular at any event his grandchildren participated in. And, John attended basketball games Morgan coached-- to see his son, of course, but also to keep the refs in line. Sometimes at his own peril, sometimes refs don't like being kept in line. This photo was taken at Thanksgiving dinner a year ago. John did his part in doing the turkey justice, but his heart was at Orrick High School's football game across the state. His heart was with his family; Morgan teaches at Orrick. John's Thanksgiving was complete; Orrick won the state championship.
Saturday, John was at another play-off game. Orrick's football team is once again fighting it's way to the state championship. This time John's grandson, and mine, Justin, is on the team so John had an extra stake in the game. John's heart, a heart so full of love, so comletely full of his family, gave out. John couldn't have been anyplace better. He would rather have been at that game, with his family, than any where else on earth. He supported his family in every way possible. He loved his family in every way possible. He was a shining example of commitment, honor and dedication to his family, his community, his country.
You are to be commended, Barbara, for choosing such a wonderful man to be the patriarch of your family. Your graciousness is legendary. Gary and I have always been welcome at your table and invited to share the joys of our blended family. Thank you for that. You will be in my thoughts and prayers for the weeks and months to come.