It has now been over a month since my father in law passed away. I still cannot believe that he is gone. It still seems like I should be able to call him to talk about theology, football, politics, or home improvement. There have been many times when I wanted to talk to him about something and the sadness hits. Amazingly, Jackson seems to understand that his Papa is gone. When we ask him where he went, Jackson says that Papa is in Heaven with Jesus and God. He really loved Don and must miss him as much as the rest of us.
The Memorial Service for Don was beautiful. Heidi, her brother, a friend of Don's, and I spoke during the ceremony. Living Word Christian Center did an incredible job of taking care of the family and keeping things running as smoothly as possible. After the service ended and family went back to Iowa and Nebraska, we had to settle into life without Don. I have never lost anyone this close to me before and there is no way to be ready for it. Heidi, her mom and her brother are doing about as well as can be expected.
I always felt that I had hit the father in law jackpot with Don. He and I got along well and since my own father lives about 1,000 miles away, Don always took it upon himself to be another father to me. His natural response to people was to father them. Never in an overbearing way, either. He had a huge servant's heart toward Heidi and Dan and they always appreciated that. He will be greatly missed and we are struggling to figure out how to live without him.