Sunday, January 04, 2009

William Chen, 1939-2008

My Father-in-law died on Sunday. The funeral was yesterday. It's been a busy week.

We originally were on a cruise to the Caribbean all week. The first couple days we had were freakin' glorious, but Sunday night we got the call, and the next day we were landing in the Dominican Republic. The ship had 24 passengers that didn't make it down in time for the launch from Miami, and instead went through Santo Domingo and took the 2 1/2 hour cab ride from the Santo Domingo airport to Samana, the port in which the ship was. We took the other way. We really felt the prayers of our friends & family on the way back, and all our flights (and the cab ride) not only left on time, but came in 20-30 minutes ahead of schedule. It was pretty cool, for being such an exhausting and difficult travel day.

The next few days were a busy time of making funeral arrangements. I never really realized how much work goes into a funeral; it's slightly more complex than a typical "party," but you're also mourning the loss of whoever it was.

I didn't know my father-in-law for a very long time; it was coming up on four years. In that time, I did realize that his motivation for the vast majority of his thoughts and actions was love. He was irascible, opinionated, and grumpy, but that was on the surface, whereas his love for God and his family was the deepest part of him. He was a brilliant, creative man, if a bit disorganized, who would frequently bite off more than he could chew, and then figure out how to finish whatever project as he went.

Heidi gets a lot of her personality from him: not so much with the grumpy aspect (and I hope that doesn't increase with age), but his stubbornness, creativity, sense of humor and attention span are hers.

I knew this was coming, but it still saddens me. For me, it's more of a regret that he won't get to meet his granddaughter (at least not for a long while), and an understanding that I'll miss him. I spent most of this week doing support work, and that will continue for months to come.

If he drank, I'd pour a forty for him. In lieu of that, I'll just say I loved him and miss him.

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