“There is a sacredness in tears. They are not the mark of weakness, but of power. They speak more eloquently than ten thousand tongues. They are messengers of overwhelming grief…and unspeakable love.”– Washington Irving
We lost a great man this week. My precious father-in-law, Tom Rossler, went to be with Jesus on Tuesday, July 7, 2020. Our hearts are so broken but we are also thankful he is free from pain. My heart broken for my husband because I know that losing his dad suddenly and so quickly is taking a toll on him.
Three weeks ago we found out that my father-in-law was not feeling well and that the doctors thought he may have cancer again. Unfortunately, that possibility turned into a reality and eventually a nightmare. He was so brave and strong and we are thankful that we got to talk to him two days before he passed.
My Father-in-Law is courageous, thoughtful, wise, stubborn, and probably the funniest and wittiest person I have ever met. This week I was cleaning out my phone messages and I was so happy to find that I had voicemails from him. Every single voice mail started with him saying, “Hi Halley. It’s Dad” which is the same way every phone conversation would start. I can’t begin to tell you how much those words meant to me.
Since the day Paul and I got married my Father-in-law considered me his daughter and immediately included me as part of the family. He never forgot my birthday, our anniversary, or any holiday. He and Kay would send me birthday cards and their thoughtfulness always filled my heart to the rim. When I married Paul I gained an incredible bonus father who forever made an impact on my life in the short 7 years I got to be his daughter.
I told Paul yesterday that I wish we could go back and call him more often. I wish we took the time to video call with our boys. During quarantine he and Kay figured out how to use Google Duo and we had the best time when we talked to them and they were so full of joy. I didn’t take a picture because we were planning to call again with the boys and I’m so sad that we never had that video call again.
We will forever miss my Father-in-Law. We will miss his funny phone calls and dry sense of humor and him telling us to speak up because he can’t hear us over the phone.
The last conversation we had with him he asked us to please give him good news and tell him that our house was finished. We wish we could have told him it was finished, but it’s not. We are sad that he will never get to come visit us and spend time with our family here in Tulsa. I know Paul was really looking forward to his dad and Kay coming to visit. We had a room set up for he and Kay so that they would feel comfortable when they are here. We know we will not get that time we hoped for with him, but we know that he will always be with us in our hearts and one day we will see him again.
The last words Paul’s dad spoke to Paul and I was last Saturday when were all on the speaker phone together and he said, “I love you. Please give the boys my love”. I’ll never forget those precious words. When we reflect back on that conversation we think he knew in his heart he was not going to make it. I wish we had known it would be our last conversation.
I want to close this by saying that I hope you take the time to call your loved ones and go see them when you can. We all get caught up in the crazy stress of daily life especially with kids at home, but please do not forget to call those who mean the most to you. Make that FaceTime call and talk to each other on the phone. If you live nearby take the time to go see them or travel to see them if they live far away. Do not take this gift of time we are given for granted because you simply never know when that gift if time will be gone.
To my Father-in-law who is now with Jesus please know that we will forever miss you. We will miss your phone calls and our times with you and Kay meeting us in Michigan to be with all of the family. Thank you for raising a great son who I get to spend my life with. I know Paul’s kindness, thoughtfulness, stubbornness, and dry sense of humor all of come from you. Thank you! We love you always!