We lost my father-in-law last week.
He had been battling cancer for a very, very long time. Nearly five years in fact, years longer than anyone ever expected him to do so. He was living with his cancer for so long that we all expected him to just keep on going. But last Christmas he was tired, very tired and the cancer was spreading. We started to think that there might be an end to it soon but not this soon. We thought there was still time for maple syrup making, taking the boys out for walks in the fields, maybe some making of this and some fixing of that. We have been caught off guard by his death and the last week has been so, so hard.
My father-in-law was the ultimate, and I do mean ultimate DIYer. Although I chuckle at that as I write it because he would probably give me a bit of a scowl or a smirk at that one and say, “DIYer? Hmfp…” But he was, and I was endlessly impressed with his ability to make and fix anything. I was saying to the Skeptic that he makes the DIYer’s on Make look like kindergartners (no offense, Little Man). It didn’t matter if it was setting up his own dark room, buying a grader to smooth out the driveway on the farm, or installing solar panels on the camper, he did it. He fixed anything that was broken, and if he couldn’t get that part he made it himself. And the research he did….right down to his own cancer, he researched everything inside and out and was one of the most knowledgeable people I’ve known. The book of knowledge that left with him is immense.
He leaves behind him a farm full of WIP’s. Projects we are so sad to see he was never able to get to, but should have been able to because 68 is too young to go. One of the last big projects he was working on, back when he was first diagnosed, was fixing up an airplane and building his own runway out in the back field. But chemo takes a lot out of a person, especially when it goes on for years. And so the airplane sits in the shed and we miss him terribly.
This has taken a lot out of us. All the Skeptic and I can keep saying is that we feel like we’ve been hit by a large and fast moving truck. Overwhelmed would be putting it mildly. So I’m taking a blogging break for awhile. Just a few weeks or so and I’ll be back with the birthday updates, including the bear and the roundhouse and whatever I manage to scramble together for Little Man this week, as well as my annual contest. I just need some room to breathe here, and writing about socks and vests just doesn’t feel right.