There are certain dates that "live in infamy" meaning they are dates of bad news that are forever burned into our memories. For those of us in my generation and before, the first date that most of us was the one that caused this expression to be coined. December 7th, Pearl Harbor Day. The one that any of us who were older children and up know all too well is 9/11. Then there are personal dates that stay with us. Many aren't infamous, but rather joyful. Our family's birthdays, our anniversary, maybe the day you fell in love. But some dates are the ones we hate. Maybe it was the date someone you loved dearly moved away. Maybe it was the date your boyfriend broke your heart. Or maybe it was the date someone you loved passed away.
Yesterday Gina K. of Gina K. designs posted about the day her dad died, one year ago on 1/31. You can read her story HERE. For me, the date 1/19/78 was my first day of infamy. It was the date my brother Steve died in a car accident. He was 17, just 2 months shy of 18. I was 12. Many years later I distinctly remember the day my Grammie was buried in 1996: 3/15. My birthday.
Today, February 1st, is the date when my father-in-law, Bill, died 2 years ago. At least that is when his body finally quit. We think his mind had been gone for a few days. I know last year I posted that I had taken the girls along with some other moms & kids to the Hannah Montana Concert Movie. We were all giggling & I was watching these girls with their 3-D glasses grab at things on the screen that seemed to be floating in the air. Then she sang the song that I posted last year, "I Miss You," and I cried...a lot. It was about her grandfather who'd died. All I could think of was my little girls losing their grandfather at a young age. I never met my grandfathers (though Grammie remarried and I got to have one for a few years) so I've wanted my girls to enjoy knowing theirs (and their grandmothers).
Life hasn't stopped because Bill is gone. Ruth, my mom-in-law, has done remarkably well. In fact, if you know any single 70-something men who like to country western dance, she'd love to go out dancing! Yes, really! Ruth has gone on a trip to New York with some ladies & taken a few other shorter trips. For her birthday this year she bought herself a mini SUV. I guess she's going to go tear up the turf somewhere. Phil has done okay, too. I think we both cried so much the night Bill died that we got our grieving out all at once. The girls normally seem to just accept that he is gone. They know he's with the Lord & they will see him again. Today Bethany reminded me that when Grandma goes to Heaven she'll get to see Pop Bill again (and if I didn't share it before, she once said, "I wonder if he'll still have Elvis hair in Heaven.").
Every once in a while, though, something makes us stop in our tracks. There's a copy of a picture of Bill when he was in the Navy in the craft room. I'm not sure why it's there. It's an extra from when we did his picture collage for the funeral. When I see it, I think of him. Sometimes, especially in the winter, when we walk into Ruth's house, I expect to see him sitting in his chair with a blanket over his lap. A few months ago Bethany watched the movie "Up" with Phil. I only caught bits of it & was crying. If you've seen the movie, you may wonder with me why it isn't called "Down" because it provokes sad thoughts at times. After the movie, she was very upset & was crying. She missed Pop Bill.
For now we miss him, but one day we will see him again. For those who believe in their hearts & confess with their mouths Jesus is Lord, we will be in Heaven together. What a glorious day that will be. That day will wipe out every day of infamy that ever existed. Praise God!