Typically, I do not get personal on my posts, but behind each blogger is a story–much like all of you have a story–and now it’s time to tell you a story of a great man who passed this week. While I have known many successful men with fruitful lives, only two elder men have been major influences in my life–my father and my father-in-law, Neil. The only two men I have ever called ‘Dad.’
My father, a humble World War II vet, is the kindest and most hard-working man I have ever known. He tirelessly provided the path for his three daughters to fulfill their hopes and dreams and silently mourned the 7-year-old daughter God took at such a young age. I can only beg the Lord to give me much more time with him and my mother.
Whilst we hope and pray for more time, sometimes the time is not granted as Neil, a retired Marine, passed away early last Sunday morning. Like my father, he was a great man. His life was marked by many hardships, including the loss of his own father at age 3. But as he explained them, he would treat them as a reference point and blessing to help him navigate through life to live each day–treasuring each hour.
When I met my in-laws for the first time, there was something different. And I wanted to be a part of it. Not only did I fall so deep in love with my husband, but his parents too. I learned so much as I watched, talked, and laughed with them. I have said, from the moment I walked into their home, Neil treated me as his own daughter. Unbelievable, I know. But so true.
As the years passed and the grandchildren were born, we grew closer and created fond memories. Family.
But there was one passion that didn’t come out until 2007–politics. What we didn’t realize about each other is that we both were political junkies–and I’m not talking let’s watch the news and have coffee, I’m talking addict-level. The bond. The sounding board. The one who would listen while I talked a post through. The mentor. The one who made me take it to the next level. The patriot. The one who made me a patriot. The one who taught me to write without fear. Is now gone. Sadness.
Each day, we lose more time. On so many levels that can be unsettling, especially with the political climate in this country and throughout the world, high unemployment, family demands, and daily life stresses. During the day, it is important to take time out from the mad rush of life, politics, and schedules to nurture the family and relationships, hug each other a bit tighter, and tell those you love that you indeed love them. I know that is how we are wired here. We start each day with an I love you and end each day with an I love you–even telephone calls–no matter how short end with I love you. Cherish.
And yes, those were my last words to him. Peace.
Semper fi, Dad Hiller.
Crossposted at HotAir’s GreenRoom