Three weeks ago, my father in law passed away.
Darren called me before lunch on Tuesday to tell me that his Dad was very sick and refusing to go back to the hospital. I told him........ we have to go.
Later that evening, we were on our way to Tennessee thinking we would give him a good talking to and maybe even get him well enough to come home with us to stay. It didn't work out that way.
When we go there we found out he was in ICU and that the girls wouldn't be able to visit. This was heart breaking since he still had never met Avonlea and we told Amelia that she would get to visit.
He was already on a breathing machine and medicated to where he was unconcious. Later that evening after getting us settled into a hotel, Darren drove back to the hospital to stay with his Dad. His condition was worse and he was miserable.
Ultimately, Darren made a decision for his Dad to die peacefully. He wasn't going to improve and no matter what they did medically...... he was getting worse.
Darren stayed with his Dad and held his hand. He talked to him, told him that he loved him, showed him pictures of the girls and asked him to please watch over them as they grew. He also cried, which he hasn't done since he was a very young boy.
He stayed for another 20 minutes after he passed just because he thought that maybe he would still be near.
We ended up staying until Sunday since we needed to pack up his home and make arrangements. It's funny what you learn about a person after they pass away, just by going through their home. He had pictures of Darren, the girls and even of my boys everywhere. He saved every card, letter, photo and even envelopes that we ever sent. He had a coffee can full of quarters marked for Amelia Claire. He saved newspaper clippings of Darren from high school and even his shot record.
I also found a high school reunion yearbook where he claimed to have seven grandchildren. He truly only had Amelia Claire and Avonlea but added my two boys and his oldest son's stepchildren as well.
I believe that he saved these things and kept them close because he couldn't say or show the emotions he was feeling. He was a hard/grumpy man most of the time but now.... we know better.
He was a man that loved birds, puzzles, cars and yardwork.
Above all else, he loved his sons and enjoyed being a grandfather.