Posted: April 3, 2015 in Humour

fern fern2     I happen to be a most fortunate man. I married an awesome person who constantly and consistently amazes me with the depth of her personality, grace under fire, intelligence, and perseverance. This she has passed down to our two boys, who also often show these qualities and more.

Of course, there are many reasons she has these. One of the most important influences on the development of her character is her father Fern. As a father-in-law, he has been an inspiration to my family. He has been a person that I look up to, especially in times when we falter. His sage advice and consistent demeanor has helped us through crises and controversy, through family bickering and personal tragedy. He has been about the best father-in-law I could have ever asked for, far better than I deserve.

Since I have known him he has endured so much. He has had many medical situations that were dire and nearly took him from us. He has seen the love of his life regress into Alzheimer’s. He has had to watch and help his own son overcome a devastating stroke and the long arduous climb this presented for him. And so much more. Yet he picks himself up, dusts himself off, and continues on.

Coming from humble beginnings, losing his own father early on, he grew up the youngest of 6 children. Through poverty and hard times, he became one of the smartest people I ever met….mostly self-taught and motivated. The word ‘amazing’ does not come close to describing him. His decency and poise are astounding.

Fern is an accomplished painter. His pieces are much coveted, but in true style, he rarely shows them. He is a self-trained astronomer, and even has a star named after him. He is a master mathematician, performing calculus in his head with the ease of buttering bread. He is a poet, a writer, a romantic, a pholosoper. He keeps journals, has done so for years. He can cook masterpieces. He is a loving grandfather. I could go on and on.

This week his oldest brother Bert passed away. His last brother. His last sibling. He is now the Godfather of the whole clan. This passing, coupled with all the other things he has going on, is really too much to ask any one person to go through. And yet….once again, he has borne this latest event with dignity and determination.

As much as we want to ease the pain for him, we can only do so much. He is a solitary man, and will only accept the barest of help. But what he will take, we will provide. As a family, these are things that must be done. This enigmatic man deserves so much more.

The circle of life. We will all have to walk its path. I wish we could all show the courage and resilience of Fern.

  1. It would appear to me, that you have bestowed upon him, a great honour. You have acknowledged the man…his position and his character. You did so, while he is still here to hear you speak them. Continue to learn from him, always showing the respect you have given him. That is all that any parent could hope for. He has found in you, a son.

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