Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Today my father-in-law had brain surgery. That is pretty serious stuff. I could crack jokes about how they will probably only charge him half price. Or about how they went in, looked around, and didn't find anything. Jokes like that are kind of funny AFTER the surgery. When you are joking with the guy who actually went through it and now he's got his eyes open and he's laughing with you because everything is ok. But until then ... it's really not very funny at all.

I have a really wonderful father-in-law. There has been a time or two when I think he's forgotten about the "in-law" part. Times when he's treated me like a real flesh and blood son. That is the kind of guy he is. I mean he's not perfect or anything. That is one of the reasons why I like him so much.

I remember when I was just dating his daughter. He owned an elevator company with his brother in Chicago. He got a call to go downtown one night for a "shut down." All I knew for certain was that this meant some poor guy's elevator had quit working and that my father-in-law was the guy to go fix it. He asked his daughter and I to accompany him on the journay. I figure, what the heck? Worst that can happen is that I spend a couple of hours on top of some high rise with this beautiful blonde while he fixes the thing. So I went.

I almost died that night. One of my father-in-laws (nearly) fatal flaws is that he's basically a horrible driver. I really don't know how he has lived to be 73. My memory says it was about 9PM. It was definately after dark. We were in this place where the Dan Ryan Expressway merges with the Stevenson Expressway and cuts over to Lake Shore Drive. Very busy. Very inner city. You have to be careful here. So as my father-in-law merges from the right there is this big tractor-trailer to his left. He figured the trailer was in his way. He couldn't move it so he did the next best thing. He let it go by. Now when I let a tractor trailer go by I generally allow it to finish passing before I pull in behind it. My father-in-law never really believes in doing things the ordinary way. He let about 7/8ths of the trailer go by and then went ahead and pulled over behind it. Well, actually ... under it. I am not kidding. I am not exaggerating. The hood of our car was UNDER the back of the trailer. That, my friends, is a merge.

He told me before he went into surgery (they were about to drill four holes into his cranium and pump out some blood and crud that had gathered there, threating to give him a stroke) that his anxiety level was a one. That's on a scale of one to ten. Ten being high. He wasn't too worried. I suppose when you live under the tail end of a tractor trailer at 65mph a little thing like a drill to the head doesn't really intimidate you.

He came through the surgery just fine though it took about twice as long as it was supposed to take. I don't know why. He might well have been sharpening their drill bit for them before they started. That would not surprise me in the least. When he woke up his first question was if he was in South Carolina. He was in Richmond, Virginia. I suppose he got the continent right which is more than I would have done.

My father-in-law really loves Jesus. I have learned a lot about the Savior by watching his life. Like I've learned how to get forgiven. My father-in-law is the kind of guy that seems to need to get forgiven a lot. I don't say that in a mean way. I simply mean that he is human. And when he blows it he is smart enough to repent. Jesus liked that in a man. So do I. I blow it a lot too. More than you want to know about. But I do know what to do about it.

I repent. And I stay out from under tractor trailers. See, I've learned two very important things from my father-in-law. And he let me keep the beautiful blonde as a bonus.

Life is good.


Anonymous said...

heyy i gave grampa those suspenders from switzerland!!! and i think that might be at our family reunion in sheboygan!!! remember, we went on our walk by the beach our famous talks where you make everything seem better
love ya lots