I don’t normally share my personal information in a professional capacity, but I thought others might benefit from some lessons I recently learned. When I married my husband, my new father-in-law was already sick. It has been a few years, and on February 16th, 2015, he passed away.
My husband and I flew out with our son to see my in-laws in November and I complained the whole time about the cost, the time and the cold. (Indiana- it was cold. Very cold. Holy mackerel it was cold.) Why couldn’t we wait until spring? Why couldn’t they come out? Why did we have to spend so much to get out there?
When we got there, his dad was irritated, hardly moving without his walker or wheelchair. It took forever to warm up (both physically and metaphorically) but soon we were touring the farm where dad-in-law grew up, his elementary school, his parents’ house. We saw where he got in trouble, and where he found his love of planes. When we returned, he hugged his grandson and talked to his son until he started falling asleep. A day or two after, we returned to Sacramento, to warmth and sun, where snow had never fallen and our lives resumed. In two months time he had passed away, and I never got to say thank you, for raising the man I love, for adoring my son and being a part of my life. And I never got to say goodbye.
Now, I wish we had spent more time there. And I am so incredibly thankful that I got to spend those few days there in the cold, spending time with him and our family.
So the lessons I learned.
1) Family trumps money
2) Learn the stories of the people we love, because there will be a time when you won’t be able to ask anymore.
3) Don’t just listen to the history, if possible, go and visit the sites that were so important.
4) Indiana is cold. Like, think of the coldest place on Earth. Indiana? Yeah, colder than that. (In fact, when we were out for my father-in-law’s funeral, the Arctic was actually warmer than Indiana.)
5) I shouldn’t complain about Sacramento’s weather
6) Say the things you want to say before you can’t.
7) Never begrudge time for family.