Giving Thanks in My Eyes

Giving Thanks in My Eyes

Every time I am writing my monthly blog there seems to be some holiday or special event that has some importance or memory in my life that I write about. So with it being November, and recently Thanksgiving, it might be natural for me to talk about my memories of Thanksgiving parades, the Charlie Brown Thanksgiving special, or eating turkey until I passed out on the couch from all the amino acid tryptophan. However, what I have decided to write about is my ex father-in-law, Ed Wagner, who passed away this past Friday. At first glance Ed was, like many people, not an extraordinary man in any way to the general public. His likes and interests were not extra ordinary. He loved sports, reading the newspaper and scratch off lottery. He was not the president of any business or country, he was not a financially wealthy man, and he never was in a newspaper for some heroic event. Nevertheless, he was an extra ordinary man.

If one was to learn about who he was to his family and loved ones, he might appear to be an extra ordinary man. He was a loving husband for 53 years. This in itself makes him extra ordinary person to many people. In today’s world where the divorce rate is between 40 to 50%. To remain happily married for over 50 years is extra ordinary. To be committed to work through the ups and downs of a marriage and remain happily married to his death, made him and his wife, Pat, extra ordinary people. After both of his daughters divorced, he continued to have positive and friendly relationships with his ex son-in-laws. Many father-in-laws may never get along with their son/daughter in laws, even when the same remain married to their child. To still have the ability to keep a positive relationship with the ex in laws after a divorce is extraordinary. He taught his grandchildren how to ride a bike, swim, play games or some other childhood activity with full vigor and love. The tears that flowed at his funeral was evidence he was an extraordinary man to his family and loved ones.

What makes me understand in my eyes that he was an extraordinary man was an event with one of my sons. I was up late, around midnight, and getting ready for Thanksgiving, when I heard one of my boys, Aaden, in his bed. I walked in to see what was going on; I realized he was crying. I thought he was not feeling well and asked him what was wrong. Aaden, who is 9, turned to me, with tears in his eyes and said “I miss Pap Pap.” At that point, I realized that Ed Wagner, who may never have been a president of any business or country, was not a financially wealthy man, never was in a newspaper for some heroic event, was an extraordinary man.

Image courtesy of Unsplash.

Today's blog: During this season of thanks and giving, Jim Heneghan tells a personal story of how important it is to reflect on the little things that make our loved ones extraordinary.