This was the first time that our boys have lost a "close" family member. They knew Granddaddy Howard, and had the chance to spend some time with him over the years, but not real quality time. This is what upset them the most. They desired and thought that they should have had a closer relationship with him since he was their grandfather. What they do know and will remember is fond times with him...most recently seeing him at Thanksgiving this past year.
This whole week has really made me reflect and look at how much quality time we spend together as a family. Our days are numbered here on this earth, and none of us are promised tomorrow. So, how we spend our days really does matter. Not only is it important to spend time with those we love, but more importantly, we should be sharing the ultimate gift of love with others...Jesus! Without Him we have no life and death will inevitably come to us all. I want to live a life that is pleasing to Him and brings Him glory. I also want to cherish the time He has given me with my wonderful family. I love Eric more each day, and our boys are the most important people in our lives.
So, to my father-in-law, I would say thanks. Thanks for raising the man I now know as my husband, and for teaching him respect. Thank you for accepting me as your daughter-in-law, and saying I was your favorite. (even though I was your only one!) :) Thanks for being the beginning of what is my family now. You will be missed, but we know that we will be reunited with you one glorious day!