Monday, January 12, 2009

The Duke

Today it has been 1 year since my father in law passed away. A whole year already.

I can't believe it.

I still hear his voice and that crazy laugh, see his toothless little evil smile, and picture that goofy "uga cha cha" dance he used to do through the living room when he was having a moment.

This man. This amazing man.

When I moved to Ohio from California, away from all family at the age of 20, this family welcomed me in. I spent Christmas' and vacations with them, even though I wasn't their daughter. I came over and did laundry, and played cards with them, even after my now husband moved to Chicago.

Duke was my surrogate Dad.

He was hard; his life had been tough but he never discussed it or complained. When I met him, he didn't give hugs or say he loved you but that all changed with me. I'm a person who hugs and says I love you eighteen times in one conversation.... and he had to get used to it. But once he did, it was wonderful. And other family members would always comment, "he doesn't hug us", "he doesn't kiss us", "he doesn't say he loves us" and I would just explain that he wasn't raised that way and that we needed to be proactive about it with him. He gave great hugs and kisses and the very last thing he ever said to me was "I love you too Dear" and that means the world to me.

What I appreciated about him was that he always called it like he saw it; you always knew exactly where he stood and he gave great advice. He had great one liners; most of which I cannot repeat!

This man, this amazing man is still with us in every breath, every step, every laugh, every tear.

He is in all of our moments because he is my husband, and my son.

He is always with us because he is us.

7 comments:

wendy said...

What a beautiful tribute! I love that you got him to give hugs and say "I love you!"

Smith Family said...

He was awesome and its great that ou keep his memory alive for your son.

Saundra@ItalianMamaGoneCrazy said...

Absolutely lovely.

We write similarly.

Thank you for following my blog...

Saundra@ItalianMamaGoneCrazy said...

by the way... YOUR FAMILY IS GORGEOUS!!!

blueviolet said...

That made me cry. You are the dearest person.

It reminds me a little bit of my situation because my hubby's family never said I love you's. He thought it was nuts when he met me but he grew into it and said it liberally to our kids. He also spread it into his own family and it took years but they did start saying it back and by the time my father-in-law died (also last year) they were free with their emotions and the I love you's were always spoken.

And my other comment is....you're in Ohio? Chicago? Where are you? I had in my mind you were in California for some reason but if you're midwest...this has possibilities. I'm in Michigan. :)

Queenie Jeannie said...

Awesome tribute post! Thank you for sharing him with us!!!

Diane said...

I hadn't cried once today. 'Til now. Thanks for that.

This was gorgeous. I just passed the anniversary of my dad's death... 10 years, but it feels like just 1. I understand how you feel.

See? No exclamation points ;)

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