Monday, October 8, 2012

A wonderful man

Howard and Joan
Howard's truck

A small snapshot of Howie's life

On February 4th, we lost Randy's Dad. What a strange phrase- "We lost Howie".  We didn't lose him-he died.   He had been diagnosed with Melanoma in October of 2009 and the doctors gave him 9 to 12 months.  He lived for another 27 months.  Until the very end, you would not know he was sick. He was always smiling, always joking. He looked healthy, he had an appetite. He didn't look sick. He amazed his doctors with how well he doing.

I never thought that his death would hit me this hard. As I write now, tears are streaming down my face and I'm doing that little hiccuping cry.

Howie treated me with such kindness. He never treated me like just some girl who married his son; he treated me like family.  The day I married Randy, he gave me a hug and told how much he loved me.  I don't know that I have even told Randy that.

Randy's family loves to play games.  They taught me how to play Rummy 500.  Howie was my partner for almost 24 years. I can count on maybe 2 hands how many times we beat Randy and his Mom Joan. But damn, we laughed until we cried almost every time we played.  On the few occasions we won, we would whoop and holler-you would think we had just won the Super Bowl.  "Eight, skate and donate" was something he always said when he would lay down a set of 8's. I realize now I never asked him what it meant-but I said it out loud to a driver at my window last week when he said the word eight. He looked at me like I was crazy, but I just laughed and said "It was something my father-in-law said".

Every day I touch the that flag folded in that case on my way out the door and thank God that he gave me this wonderful family I married into. Thank you Howie for your love, your laughter and your son that has been the love of my life for almost 25 years.  You were an amazing man that I miss every day, and not a day passes that I don't think of you-either with laughter or with tears.

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