October 03, 2003
My father-in-law went on a fishing trip last week. Tuesday he suffered a heart attack and passed away yesterday.
Before we found our own place we stayed at his place near a large lake a few hours north of Houston. One of the reasons we moved to the Houston area was because he lived here and his wife had died a few years earlier.
The company I was working for couldn't get me a job in Houston but had a position for me in Kansas City. They were willing to fly me to Houston on weekends. I had been doing this for about a month when I got a call from my wife that her Dad had had a heart attack and had been rushed downtown for an emergency bypass. This was right before Christmas and I had some vacation time stored up so I was able to stay in Houston as we drove the two plus hours downtown to check on him.
We bought our house and moved in on January 6. He was still not feeling well so we had him move into one of the extra bedrooms. He liked it so much he never left.
He had been first mate on a merchant vessel and lived hard most of his life. He recovered from the bypass (this was in 1997) and things settled down.
He would sometimes go up to a lake with his camper and dingy to go fishing for a week or so.
He recently had a stent inserted and I thought that like a new part for a car he was good for another 20,000 miles. Even with a car that doesn't always work.
He probably should not have went on this trip but we could not convince him of that.
When my daughter was in the school choir last year he came with us for every performance. Just recently when he was installed as an officer in his local K of C the whole family went with him to the officer installation. He was so happy that we had all been there for his big day.
It is hard writing this as my eyes have become increasingly wet.
He has a hard stubborn man as you would expect an old sailor to be but he was a good man and I will miss him very much.