Well, it has been over a week since my father-in-law passed away and I am still trying to figure out what to write. He was so many things to so many people. Knowing that, I can only write about what he meant to me.
When I first met my husband and it came time to meet his parents I was worried about meeting his mother. But for my husband, he was worried about me meeting his father. It went fine because I think his dad was just happy his son was dating someone and that was all that mattered to him.
As the years passed, I looked forward to his story telling, his jokes and his reminiscing of the past. I would listen carefully knowing he would leave hints to see if I could figure the true meaning of his message. Sometimes I got it but other times I didn't.
He was the first pastor who gave a sermon that met all my needs. Being hearing impaired I often got tired of concentrating on listening but with John, I had no problem staying focused, staying interested, and learning the message. There were times we would make the two and a half hour trip to his church just to attend church services so I could hear his sermon.
I have to say I admired his tenacity when it came to living his life after he got sick. I tend to be a homebody and don't try very hard to leave the house being both sight and hearing impaired. But John was always doing something even with his oxygen tank and his scooter. He and my mother-in-law built many model railroad gardens. Do you know how much work goes into that?
If I were to sum up John if a few words it would be the follwing:
He loved God.
He loved Betty.
He lived as God's servant.
My eight year old son said it best when he made a little flag to put on the model train at his funeral. The flag said, "Wise Elder."