He ate all the gross raw veggies. I'm not kidding. This man could not pass by a bowl of sliced raw potatoes without taking one. I'll never understand. He also would open a candy dish and eat just two M&M's. I mean seriously, who can do that?
When Dan and I were first married, we bought some kind of a new car. I don't even remember what it was. But I do remember Dan showing it to his dad, and seeing that he was proud to be showing it to his dad. And the first thing out of his fathers mouth was 'Can I drive it?' That never changed. Every time anyone would get a new car, his dad always wanted to drive it.
He also always wanted to feed the new babies their bottle.
It makes sense now. He was not okay to just 'see' something. He needed to try it, to experience it, to have the whole thing for just a moment all to himself.
He never hesitated to start a game of something with anyone close. Acey Deucy. Sheep Head. Darts. I've learned more games from Dan's parents than I ever even knew existed with just a deck of cards.
He would totally complain and avoid paying $2.50 for a soda in a restaurant but not blink an eye to spend a couple hundred on some kind of fishing contraption.
He was the owner of the 'little man'. I never met him until grandchildren started sprouting up, but he magically appeared on the end of his hand and he would always be at the dinner table teasing the children about taking their cookie, or their peas or tickling their belly. I can't imagine never seeing the 'little man' again.
He built the book shelves that are upstairs in our home. I so appreciated it then. I appreciate it even more today.
Over the course of the past 17 years, that man must have asked me if I liked sea food 3000 times. And he would always ask it the same way, "You like sea food, don't you?" And upon hearning my answer (always NO), he would give me the same confused look. I will miss that.
He loved to play. And play around. And tease. And dance. And fish. And camp.
He kept giant cans of nuts hidden in his bedroom closet.
He was going to teach Allyson to water ski this summer. And no doubt would have tried to do it himself.
He was the father of the man I married. He raised a son who is respectful to his wife, patient and giving, excited to be a father, an excellent provider for his family, honorable to everyone he knows, does not eat raw potatoes or just two M&M's, who is respectable and kind, and can remember all 647 different games that can be played with a single deck of cards.
One time when I first started this blog, he squinched up his face and asked me why I was doing this- what it was for or what the purpose was. And when I responded that I didn't really know but I loved writing and documenting all the little parts of our life and my thoughts, he shook his head. He didn't get it. Nor would I expect him to. Blogs are more for a 'whole bag of chocolates' kind of person.
He was not emotional nor did I ever see him attach a bit of emotion to a single drop of anything.
But he loved with his whole entire self.
His death was preceeded by months of slow suffering which was preceeded by almost two years of horrible treatments. His body was slow to give up and shut down, allowing the cancer to take it over inch by inch. I take comfort in knowing that God had grand purpose in asking him to do something so difficult, although I don't understand what it was now.
Our family has changed. It will never be the same again. Normal will not ever be what it was. We now begin our quest for a new normal, the one that came the day Dan's dad died.