Sunday, December 9, 2012

My Dad-in-law

My mother-in-law Bonnie and my father-in-law Howard
Thanks to them for putting this picture on facebook so I could get it.

This is Dan with his Grandpa C.
on Dan's birthday (6+ years ago)
I met my Father-in-law 25 years ago last month, and in May, will have had the honor of being his daughter-in-law for 25 years.  He is a good man, who is a wonderful Dad and grandpa.  I am thankful for him for many reasons, but perhaps my favorite is that he raised a good family, and I reap the benefits by being married to his oldest son, and enjoying the association of his other sons and daughters.  He is the father of eleven terrific children.

Derek has told me before that when his Dad would get home from work, he (11-12-year-old Derek) would often be waiting with a baseball mitt, asking if his Dad would play catch with him.  Many times his Dad would be a good sport, though Derek now understands what a sacrifice that was. 

My Dad-in-law still spends time with his children, and now his grandchildren too (he has 49).  He is present on special occasions and family parties.  He is there as often as he can be for concerts, and ball games, and birthday dates.  My children appreciate his listening ear, and his kindness.  I appreciate that he has been in there when all of my children were born, and he obviously loves them.  He has come to help when we needed him.  When it was discovered, the day after Jake was born, that he had heart defects, my Dad and my Dad-in-law both dropped what they were doing and came to the hospital to help bless Jake.  While the helicopter carried Jake to the hospital, Dad C. drove to the hospital with Derek to support him, and to find out how Jake was, and what needed to be done.  This was important and helpful to us.

He also is wise in many ways.  I can remember a couple of occasions when he called all of us brothers and sisters (counting us in-laws) together to tell us something he felt it was important for us all to hear.  Once he was warning us about sarcasm, and to be careful with how we joke with each other so that nobody misunderstands, and is hurt.  Another time he was reminding the men to be gentlemen, and asking us ladies to let them.  Dad C. is always a gentleman and takes care to open car doors and the doors of buildings for his wife, and for any others of us ladies who might be travelling with him.  On another occasion he made it clear to his sons that there would never be a sporting competition "with brothers competing against brothers-in-law"; all were now equally family.

Dad C. is a musician.  He plays the violin beautifully, and the piano too.  I believe he played the french horn at one time, is teaching himself the viola, and might know other instruments I am unaware of.  He inherited his love of music from his own parents, and has passed it on to many of his children.  He leads music very well too and does a great job of finding musical numbers for our ward (church congregation).

Dad C. worked at BYU as a professor of statistics for his whole career, with one sabbatical in Maryland for a year.  He did a lot of work with exit polls during elections.  Even though he is retired, he seems to always be working on some new project or another on the side.  Dad C. used his knowledge to help his kids with their homework too.  Derek used to get frustrated with his Dad's insistence on teaching the principle instead of providing the answer.  Derek uses the same techniques with our children, who get equally frustrated, but the method works!

Dad C. enjoys sports.  He played raquetball and basketball every week for years to get his exercise in, though from the stories I've heard, he must have had some good raquetball opponents to have managed to get exercise out of it.  Derek remembers thinking he could beat his Dad, and then his Dad pretty much stood still in the middle of the court while Derek ran and ran and ran and lost (though Dad C. ended up with more ball-shaped bruises on his back).  Dad C.'s love of playing basketball was definitely passed on to his boys.  Many of them try to play whenever they can.  He took turns taking children to BYU football and basketball games for years, and has continued to be generous with his tickets.

Somebody asked him at a recent family gathering what he wanted for his birthday and he said "peace and quiet".  We all laughed because so many of us were coming for his birthday dinner and we're not that quiet when we get together, but I'm sure he got his peace and quiet once we all went home.  I hope he enjoys it, because I'm sure we'll all be over again soon to enjoy his company.


Saimi said...

Wow Sher, what an amazing Father in Law you have. Seriously 11 children, wow! Well that was a beautiful tribute to him, your a sweet Daughter!

Michelle said...

We are truly blessed to share such an amazing father-in-law. He really knew how to turn out great sons and daughters. We love him very much. Happy birthday Dad C.