I have a cup of coffee in my hand.
I'm sitting on the porch which is located in LA...Lower Arkansas.
The rain still patters off the tin roof.
I look over at the empty chair on the other side of the table, and I can visualize my father-in-law sitting there with his cup of coffee. Looking over the fields before us, listening for moving animals in the bush close by.
He and I shared many moments like that...
Bob loved this farm.
Even in his last months during his chemo/radiation treatments, I'd go into town and drive him down here and he'd ramble around adjusting clutches on tractors, making his way at his slower speed.
A true pillar of strength, cancer his only enemy.
With father's day coming up, and me, here at the Farm... if I believed in spirits remaining...Bob would be here.
Perhaps he gets to visit sometimes.
I can close my eyes and see his little silver truck coming up the dirt road with dust billowing behind it. I can hear "Mornin' Girl! Got coffee made?"
As I reflect on my memories of Bob, it amazes me it's the last memories that invoke the strongest feelings for him. Not because of his tragic, suffering death, but because of his strong enduring spirit. The horrific pain that he must have had, and his determination to be strong.
Bob was always strong, and responsible, and dependable.
A trait of course I cherished of Bob was his ability to laugh! Oh, how he loved to tell stories....many stories....many, many stories. Most of his stories sparked laughter from him, and his big belly would rise and fall with each snicker.
On father's day, since we've had the farm, Nick always had a shrimp boil and had the family down, Bob sitting in the center chair of the circle. It never being said, but everyone knowing who the "big dog" of father's day was.
He was a hero of mine. Hero's are never perfect, but they bring on feelings of safe.
Bob helped us all feel safe.
We are so blessed to have his legacy of responsibility, dependable, and strong!
I'm extra blessed, because he passed all that to his son, my husband. I see my husband with all the same wonderful traits of his Dad, that I admired.
Bob was more to me than a father-in-law, he was like my Dad.
On this father's day, I will hold my coffee cup up and drink with him in spirit.