It's NaBloPoMo. Should I try to post daily? YOU definitely should!
About two weeks ago Doug's dad died.
Hearing the news early in the morning felt sorta like a sucker punch in the gut.
It wasn't a total surprise.
He'd been sick.
He had Lymphoma and was receiving hospice care at home.
It was still unbelievable and terribly sad.
I really love(d) the man.
Have I ever mentioned how much I love the family I married into? Probably not.
But I do...I love my in-laws! My SIL Laura says "We won the in-law lottery!" And we did! They're all great!
This fact was reinforced when we travelled to Utah for Dad's funeral.
Don't get me wrong, it was pretty darn sad. Still seems unreal.
But being with all of Doug's family made it a bearable--and even sweet--experience. And yes, there was even (a lot of) laughter during the visit. Can't put that many W's into the same room without someone cracking a joke.
Now if you don't mind, (and even if you do) I'm going to reminisce a little.
The day I met Doug's parents, was NOT supposed to be the day I met Doug's parents. He was taking me to meet his sister Lisa and her family. I was supposed to meet his parents the following day at Sunday dinner.
It was later in the evening--dark outside. We pulled up in the "Maroon Marauder*" and Doug laughs.
As we walk up to the front door I ask why he's laughing. He says, "You'll see."
What he saw was his parents car parked in the drive way.
He knew I was about to walk in to "Meet the Parents."
Here's how I remember it.
We reach the door and ring the bell. As it's opening and we're about to walk in he says "My parents are here!" with a laugh in his voice.
I start to panic just a little.
The door opens.
We start walking in.
A little girl with blonde curls runs up to me and into my arms--Doug's niece Whitney. I let out an "Ahhhh!" and give her a big hug. At the time I thought she was just drawn to me by my awesomeness. Looking back though, I'm pretty sure she thought I was Doug's ex, Ali.
We walk into the family room to meet everyone. Doug starts to introduce me. His mom is sweet and his dad stands up from the couch and gives me a hug. Somehow, I find it extremely flattering that he would hug me. I wonder what Doug had told them about me by that point...?!
I'm immediately conscious of my toe ring showing through my sandals but exceedingly glad I took out four extra earrings days previous in anticipation of this meeting.**
Without knowing Doug's dad, I know he's a man who wont respect a lot of superfluous earrings--and I'm right. I'm right to be conscious of the toe ring too. Before the night is out he asks in a joking voice: "Whatdaya need a ring on your toe for?!"
Mental "D'oh" and forehead slap.
It's bed time and we've arrived just in time to have scripture study and prayer with Lisa, Rich, and their four girls. I am in awe of this family. Each daughter has her own Book of Mormon. Each reads (or repeats) a verse. It's apparent that this is a nightly ritual second nature to these kids. I can't help but feel a little amazed and envious. After a kneeling prayer to end the day, Doug's parents leave. Lisa reminds her (adorable) daughters to always remember to give Grandpa lots of hugs when they see him.
That was my introduction to Doug's family.
And I've loved them ever since.
*The car Doug shared with his brother Dave. It was large. And maroon. And not the least bit cool. But it did have bench seats and we may or may not have *ahem* kissed chastely in that car a time or two.
**This was a few months before Mormon women were asked to only wear one earring in each ear. Thanks to my respect/fear of Doug's dad, the extra earrings I'd worn every day since my teens were taken out and left out permanently.