It was an uneventful Thursday morning. I got up, got dressed and ready, go the kids off to school and went to work. I went on my break about 11:30 am and turned on my phone. "Dad is in the emergency room" is the text that met my eyes. I immediately tried to call Steven to find out what was going on. No answer after several attempts. Lots of things were going through my mind. Had he fallen or been in a car accident? It never even crossed my mind that it would be something more serious.
Not getting a hold of Steven, I went to my boss and told her my father-in-law was in the emergency room and I needed to go. "Of course," she said, and off I went, trying to call Steven and I walked to my car. I was in the parking lot halfway there when I finally got him on the phone. "Dad passed away," is what he told me. I stopped in the middle of the parking lot in disbelief. "Please tell me you are kidding." He was not. I immediately headed over to Gwinnett Medical where I found Steven and one of his brothers in a back room. Tears filled my eyes again, as they had as I was driving, and I gripped my husband and held him tight. I can't believe this is happening again was my thought process.
In the last 12 1/2 years, since my children have been born, Steven and I have lost all 4 of our parents, 4 grandparents, 2 uncles and 2 aunts, and that's just off the top of my head.
Dave was a tremendous man. He wasn't my biological father, but he gladly took on the role, especially after my dad died in 2004 and I was left without parents. We enjoyed having him over for dinner and making ziti. He loved it and always told me how good it was. That made me feel good because his wife was such a wonderful cook. He would sit with my boys and talk to them about whatever interested them that day: WWE, basketball, Garfield, Pokémon, you name it. He always made time to come to their baseball games, and even made it to a Tae Kwon Do belt test.
But I have to say that my favorite time with Dave was during piano lessons. Each of my kids was to take 1 year of lessons, whether the liked it or not. After a year they could quit if it wasn't for them, but they had to at least try. One day I thought, "Why not me?" So I began taking lessons along with Zach. We would spend an hour a week with Dave at his house playing music and learning. All of our lessons required that we learn a song or two from our book and then, when Dave had approved it, we would get to play a duet with Dave. Nothing was more thrilling for me than to see my son playing next to his grandfather and for me to play with him as well. It's so humbling, knowing how extremely talented he was. We would play and laugh and have a great time. And I was learning! Such a blessing.
Elijah was due to start piano lessons next month, at the age of 8. Grandaddy wouldn't start until 8. And Elijah knew that turning 8 meant starting lessons with him. Sadly, that will never be realized for him. And I didn't learn enough to be able to teach him.
Dave, thank you for 21 wonderful years as part of your family. I am blessed and a better person for having known you and your family. We love you and miss you already.