Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Jason's DAD

My father-in-law passed away yesterday.
He wasn't my husband's biological father, but he was his Dad.

Dick taught Jason to fish and swim and play baseball.
He built Jason and his brother a fort and they made a sign: No Girls Allowed (except they spelled Girls wrong :)  I have photos of that in an album, I have to dig them out.
He built Jason and his brother and their friends a huge half pipe to skateboard on.

He told Jason not to "Burp, fart or curse" around girls.
He taught Jason to be a gentleman and to open doors for ladies.
When Jason and I had a fight, he would go to Dick and Dick would give him advice.

My mother-in-law would get mad at us and stop talking to us for months, but Dick always called even when she wasn't talking to us, even against her wishes.
Dick felt the whole "stop talking" thing was not how a family should act.
Family was family and if you loved someone you got over stuff and kept them close.
When I first started dating Jason, Jason's mom wouldn't talk to me.  I would offer to help in the kitchen and she would not say one word to me.  I would just do stuff and hope I was helping.  But Dick was always friendly and nice.  He knew I was uncomfortable and he would
make jokes and tell stories about how he danced with Cher and got bitten by a shark.

He used to make these wild concoctions when we were dating, like blue cheese and peanuts and I would try them because I didn't want to be rude.  
He later admitted it was all a test.
We still laughed about that together right up until a few weeks ago.  
He said I should have seen my face!

I was always REALLY allergic to their dogs (Springer spaniel mixes) and would have really bad allergy attacks when I was at their house.  One time my father-in-law got the idea that I needed to eat onions to help with my sinus issues, but he mixed the onions with raisins to taste better and put salt and pepper on it.
It was pretty good.  But then, I like raw onions.

He loved baseball.
He's responsible for my love of Jimmy Buffett.
My niece put a photo of Dick on Instagram and said: Rest in Paradise.  I thought that was appropriate.  I hope he does.

He loved babies.
And toes.
He used to laugh at my pinky toe when I was barefoot.  Sometimes he would ask to see it just because he thought it was so funny looking.
My girls remember that he taught them to play marbles.
My niece emailed me and said she remembered him teaching her to play marbles.
Pretty great legacy to leave behind:
The Man Who Taught Me to Play Marbles.
He never understood why kids didn't still play marbles because it was such a great game that you could play anywhere!

Dick LOVED kids.
All the neighborhood kids used to come over his house.  My brother in law was grown and it was not uncommon to go there and find a couple of 10 or 11 year olds chatting about baseball or whatever sport they played with my father-in-law on the porch.
He also loved Halloween and many Halloweens he took a picture of every trick-or-treater.  Going through those photos is a trip.  We just laugh.  No one can tell who most of the people are.
He believed strongly in home-made costumes.  One year, when Jason was little, he wrapped ivy all around Jason and said he was a plant.

Dick and Jason had some rough patches during Jason's teen years.  
Dick had some demons of his own.
After my mother-in-law passed away, Jason and Dick got closer.
Dick would call Jason and say, "Did you call me?"  
Knowing Jason had not, but wanting to talk.
And they would talk.
Jason called Dick more often, too.
They were able to talk in a way they had not been able to before.

Dick never said anything, but Jason realized that Dick did not have to be there for him.
The story Jason's mom told was that she and Jason and Jason's older brother met Dick at a party.  Jason was a cute, chubby, blonde three year old and Dick played ball with him and thought he was adorable.  He used to stop by my mother-in-law's little bungalow in Long Beach, California and ask to play with Jason.  My mother-in-law said Dick liked Jason first.  Then he asked her out.  They were together for over 25 years until my mother-in-law passed away, but she always said that Dick loved Jason first.
Dick was there for Jason.
He treated Jason like a son.
Jason thought of him as his father.
Love matters more than blood in a family.
Dick was Jason's