I saw a post yesterday titled Thankful Thursday and got permission from Misty to "steal" her idea. But Thursday, Friday and Saturday all got away from me. Here it is Sunday, but I'm going to post this anyway.
Thursday was August 25th - my father-in-law's birthday. How thankful I am for him and the legacy he left. I see so many amazing traces of his legacy in my children. He was quite a man. He knew what he believed and he stood his ground no matter what the challenges. He was a loving, caring husband and father. In fact, as my mother-in-law grew more and more disoriented due to Alzheimer's, he faithfully and tenderly cared for her. Even though he had his own health issues, he pretty much laid down his life for his wife. (He's been gone now since 1999.)
He was fun-loving and that was something somewhat foreign to me when I married into the family. My introduction the first time my new husband and I stayed with my in-laws was to find a rubber snake in my suitcase. A day or two later, it was some plastic "barf." My husband and my children have tended toward the fun-loving side often to my dismay and occasionally to my utter terror!
My father-in-law was disciplined, a trait that showed up primarily in my middle son, although the others also have traces. My father-in-law used to brag about how he would take his last hot shower of the season on a specific date which never changed, by the way, no matter what the actual temperature. Then in the fall he had a specific date to start taking hot showers again. The lawn was mowed on schedule every 5 days whether it needed it or not. He kept impeccable records of everything, even the date and type of bread he made in his bread maker.
He also had the incredible ability to juggle several tasks at once. His job as an air traffic controller required it. Even at home he could listen to one game on the radio, have another on the TV and carry on a conversation at the same time. My daughter seems to have inherited this trait the strongest. How she manages to keep so many balls in the air at one time is a mystery to me! Her granddad's legacy?
My father-in-law, although he was a man of deep faith, was also somewhat of a worry wart. If he didn't hear from us within what he considered to be a reasonable amount of time, he would go so far as to write out a multiple choice, self-addressed, stamped postcard for us to return to him with an answer to mark; 1) someone is sick and dying 2) lost all my pens 3) we're ok, just haven't gotten around to writing! Having grown up in a family that cared for each other, but not quite so overwhelmingly, that sometimes annoyed me. Not anymore though. I came to understand that his family was more important to him than just about anything.
He was an excellent provider. He was frugal and careful and a hard worker. Thanks to his careful planning, his wife has never lacked and was able to volunteer for an organization she truly cared about. That was a great joy to her. Even now with Alzheimer's, she is completely cared for. This trait was passed on to my youngest son - frugal to a fault, not afraid of hard work (but that goes for my husband and all my children) and very careful in his expenditures.
My father-in-law was also generous. He gave liberally to his church and to many missionaries both financially and by giving his time. He visited the sick and those in nursing homes, wrote caring notes to many who needed encouragement, cared for his neighbors and their homes when needed and generally was helpful to anyone and everyone. We were frequently on the receiving end of his generosity. And all of my children are generous with what they have. They too, were receivers of his generosity.
So yes, I'm thankful for a loving, caring, wonderful father-in-law.