Earlier today, my father-in-law finally lost his battle with cancer. Surrounded by loved ones, he took his last breaths on this world and moved on to a better one. No longer will he be besieged by the pain that defined his last weeks among us.
I cannot even begin to express how truly blessed I feel to have had him as a father-in-law. I loved him very deeply and he loved me too. Though we couldn't have been more different from one another, from the very first moment that we met, he embraced me into his family and loved me as if I were one of his own.
Although he was the strong, silent type, my father-in-law was one of the kindest and gentlest men I have ever known in my entire life. In a world defined by greed and chaos, he lived his life simply and honorably. Nothing gave him more pleasure in this world than his family, his God, and the church of fishing. My respect for him was immeasurable.
However, what I love and admire about him the most was his undying love for his wife. They had a lifelong love affair with one another that was magically romantic and one of the most beautiful things to witness on a daily basis. They were practically inseparable and their lives revolved around one another. BossLady and I frequently talked about how their marriage was an inspiration to the rest of us.
Sadly, my father-in-law's last days were filled with great pain. Although he could hear us, he was unable to communicate with us and could hardly move. His organs had begun shutting down and his body was emaciated from the ravages of the spreading cancer. Yet, the only stimuli that he would ever react to was the soothing voice of his wife.
Several days ago, we gently propped him up so that we could change his bedding. As his son and daughter held him, he surprised all of us by suddenly lifting himself forward so that he could gently kiss his wife on the lips and softly caress her back. It was the last act of a dying man. He used every remaining ounce of strength in his dying body so that he could lovingly express to her just how much he deeply loved her. It was one of the most beautiful and touching moments I've ever witnessed in my entire life and I'll never forget it for as long as I live. Just writing about it here brings me to tears.
It's true what they say. Love does conquer all.
Farewell, dad. We love you and will miss you forever. Though we're tormented by grief and saddened by our loss, we pray that you're finally at peace and we look forward to seeing you on the other side.
We inherit from our ancestors gifts so often taken for granted. Each of us contains within, this inheritance of soul. We are links between the ages, containing past and present expectations, sacred memories and future promises.---Edward Sellner