F is for Father-in-Law

Snake’s dad died last week from Covid. He was relatively healthy, he was 80 and in remission from lung cancer, and then he was gone. This is a brutal and horrible virus.

I’ve never written a great deal about him. I’ve written about my family and my late mother-in-law, but never him really. I have written that I had a somewhat up and down relationship with the two of them.

I imagine part of that came from how young we were when we got serious. And the fact that Snake went from “not going to college” to “following Charmer to college” in less than a month. His life path changed and I know they felt like they were losing him to me.

Add to that my mouth that tends to say things without filters and it was a recipe for a lot of awkward moments. Snake’s family was military and very diplomatic. I, alas, am neither. And neither were my parents. Suffice it to say, we were a shock to the Snake household.

Even after we got married, his mom would call on Saturday night “to chat” or want us to drop everything to come over. She wanted her holidays and her traditions and it might have been the first signs of my dominance, but I don’t do that well.

If Snake’s mom was the vocal one, his father was the sneak attack. The fake dog poop on the floor during a party or the middle of the night phone call about his mom when we really couldn’t do anything.

And honestly? I’ve never seen someone take so long to wake up in the morning. We got the phone call about Snake’s grandfather and had to go wake them up because they had the phone turned off. It took 2 cups of coffee before his dad really registered that his father had died.

He told the same jokes over and over, always stood where I didn’t want him in the kitchen and had the most ridiculous fake hair hat that I have ever seen in my entire life. I learned early to keep my annoyed looks and comments to a minimum or I would spend eternity with repeats of the same things.

Well, Charmer…quite the memorial.

He drove me batshit at least 80% of the time. And yet, I think he and I respected each other a lot. He had a long and decorated career and took good care of his family. He took care of Snake’s mom tirelessly and alone mostly for over 20 years while she battled Lupus. He wrote a book, he remarried, and he fought back lung cancer.

And he raised my husband to be the man he is. How can I not love and respect and miss the man who did that?

10 Replies to “F is for Father-in-Law”

  1. You know…

    There is a tendency, when someone dies, to sugarcoat reality or to be insincere in a “he was a really great guy” kind of way, when actually “he was a pain in the ass” is closer to the truth. And it annoys the shit out of me when people do that.

    So thank you for being real about it.

    We all deal with grief and loss in different ways; however the two of you are (or are not) experiencing it, I hope you are well.

    God bless. xo

    1. I’m nothing if not real. And I hope that when I go, people are willing to say the truth about me too.

      We are–it’s not a “normal” time so it’s far from normal with the arrangements. That’s the hardest part. Everything is postponed which leaves a strange, unsettled feeling.


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