This is the first time I've ever posted something of this nature at the cafe, but I could really use everyone's good thoughts and prayers for my wife, my sister-in-law, my mother-in-law (step) and my family (my two girls in particular).
This morning at 4:30am, we received news my father-in-law, Gary, had passed away in his sleep. He was only 62 years old and his death was very much unexpected. He had been dealing with a myriad of health problems, mostly stemming from the stroke he suffered in January of this year. But his health problems started back in 2000 when he had quadruple-bypass, heart valve replacement surgery. The surgery really had taken it's toll on his body. He seemed to be getting better until he suffered a stroke in January of this year. The stroke left him almost blind in the left eye and partially paralyzed his left leg. From that point until today, his health was in steady decline. We got to see him on Thanksgiving day which was the last day we saw him. He was tired, in pain and weary from the fight.
As I'm sure anyone can imagine this has hit my wife extremely hard. In 2003 her mom passed away from complications with her liver and now, 4 years later, she's having to bury her dad. This has also had a profound effect on my eldest daughter who turned 9 the day after Thanksgiving. When Laurie's mom passed away in 2003, Kaleigh was only 5, but somehow could grasp the loss of her grandmother. The hardest part of this morning, in addition to the phone call and my wife's emotional pain, was telling my two children they're grandfather had been taken by the Lord in his sleep. Meghan (my 5 year old) seemed to understand a bit of what happend, but Kaleigh sobbed like any child would do and it was the most heartbreaking thing Laurie and I had to do this morning.
I'm a faithful man and know Gary is in a much better place, free of the pain which ailed him and I'm thankful he is where he is. It's important to tell those we're close to and love the most, how much we adore and cherish them because we never know when we won't get the opportunity to do again.
Cafe friends, I appreciate you holding my family, all of them, in your prayers as we got through the grieving process.
"This is your captain calling--with an urgent warning" - The The