My father in law’s funeral will be this Saturday. Technically he’s my “ex” father in law, but since I kept my ex’s family in the divorce, I still get to claim a seat up front in the “family” section of the church service.
One of the rules I live by is that if you’ve got something good to say to someone, say it sooner rather than later. And if you’ve got something nice to do for them…ditto.
That message really got underlined in a personal way just a week ago. George had been admitted to the hospital for some serious problems, but had rebounded, and was now recuperating briefly in a nearby nursing home before planning to go back to his own house. His oldest daughter called one evening to say that she was going over to visit, and invited my son and myself to come along.
We were just on our way out to see a movie…but canned that plan and met up with her instead. George was dressed in street clothes—a flannel shirt and corduroy pants—and was looking mighty perky for someone 89 who’s recently been skating on such thin ice. He was eagerly looking forward to returning home the next day, and for an hour the conversation between the four of us ranged all over the map—antiques, turkey hunting, violin music, nursing home food, my daughter’s upcoming wedding. Finally the evening started to wane, so we said our goodbyes and left.
He had a stroke later that night, and I never saw him alive again. I’m so glad we went.