I’m out of town and won’t be blogging until Friday (provided I get back at a decent hour on Thursday.)
My father-in-law passed away last week at the age of 88, and we’re taking the family down to L.A. for the funeral mass. It’s certainly bittersweet. We wish our kids could have lived closer to their grandfather to see him more often, but we feel blessed that they knew him at all. Too many kids grow up without knowing their grandparents at all, and our kids have their grandmother (my mom) and had their grandfather (my father-in-law.)
I love talking to the senior generation. They did more with less and for all the complaints we have today, they lived through so much more, world wars and a much bigger depression than we’ve faced. They had less debt and families generally stayed in the same town, or at least the same state. The past isn’t perfect, but it’s still wonderful. I loved listening to my own grandparents tell stories about growing up, and what it was like living in California during WWII. I loved listening to Larry talk about his life. We should all take the time to listen to our parents and grandparents, because their experiences are invaluable and we can learn so much from them.
My grandfather, Karl Hoffman, was the son of a preacher in Oregon. We think that kids are trouble today? My grandpa and his friends took apart a wagon and reassembled it on top the church roof one Saturday night! And up until he died, he had a gleam in his eye recounting the story.
What I really loved about my father-in-law was his love of animals, particularly dogs. (Alright, he wasn’t overly fond of cats, but everyone has a flaw, right?) But Larry loved his dogs, and every dog who ever met Larry became an instant friend. He always had dog treats in his pocket and he lit up when recounting stories of his different dogs, particularly Spot (who Larry called Saint Spot because he died more than twenty-five years ago.) And yes, Larry fed his dogs from the table, but they had to stay a respectable distance away:
I believe that when we pass, we are reunited with our loved ones in Heaven, including our beloved pets. So I’m pretty certain Larry is with his wife Joan and every dog they’ve ever owned sitting at their feet.
Do you have favorite stories passed down from your parents or grandparents?