I felt his presence here as the wind whistled through the majestic tree tops. (And a loud whistle at that!)
The deer, red foxes, wild turkeys, and birds love it here.
The grandchildren love it here, too. Grandpa Bill was notorious for hooking up a trailer to his riding mower and taking the grandkids (and grown up kids including myself) for endless rides.
Bill's hand is all over this beautiful landscape. Everywhere I look, I see my father-in-law.
I watched as some of the grandkids helped Grandpa Bill by clearing two dead pine trees, preparing the wood for a special bon fire.
Bill was a tinkering-kind of guy. His own father passed away from TB when Bill was only 6 years old. Bill was self-taught on mechanics. He and a couple of his sons built a space to house all of his
He taught all of his boys how to fix and repair mechanical things.
And the tradition continues.
Bill had a degree in Sociology from St. Ambrose in Iowa. He dedicated his life to helping the disabled find jobs.
He had so many hidden treasures. (Sometimes we overlooked the treasures and focused on the quirks that drove David and I nuts. We all have quirks, though, do we not?)
My father-in-law was a champion of the unborn. He honored life from the moment of conception to death. And his own death was so very hard due to his battle with Alzheimer's.
For years, on a weekly basis, Bill would go walk and pray the rosary outside the (now shut down - praise the Lord) abortion clinic in Rockford, IL.
(Such a tearful and bittersweet moment.)
David (second from right) with his brothers at their father's wake. David is the youngest of six children.
Bill loved his Catholic faith, his wife and children, and his country. He was a Korean war veteran. His father was a WWI veteran.
The American flag that draped Bill's coffin was his father's and had only 48 stars!
After the wake, the family remembered Grandpa Bill with a special bon fire made from those dead pines the grandkids cleaned up. (He would have enjoyed seeing that.)
There was a beautiful funeral mass the following morning, followed by an Honor Guard outside the little, Catholic church.
The family that Bill was so very proud of (minus 4 family members.)
As I reflect on the person Bill was and type this post, I feel more blessed than ever to have married into Bill's family. His traditional values have been passed down to his son, my beloved, and we will continue to strive to pass them onto our own children.
May the souls of the faithfully departed rest in peace.
~ Patty ~