Recently, a blog friend lost her father in law. She wrote about her memories of him that had me remembering my own f-i-l.
He is a very special man. Short, thin frame, high powered glasses, hearing aid and an amazing sense of humor. Yes, that is how I would always think of him. A serious ailment in early childhood had taken away most of his hearing capability and left him with weak eyesight. But he survived – through all the cruelty that little kids and grown up professionals subjected him to. He never lost his will or professionalism, even after having been discriminated against and denied well deserved promotions. It is strange but he managed to have the most tearful farewell speeches whenever he left his posting (he was a Bank employee). He had reached a very senior position in that sector. And then he gave it all up. For looking after his ailing mother, thus sacrificing on a substantial amount of monetary compensation. His decision has been called ‘unwise’ but for me this has been the best gift a son could have ever given to his mother.
He has always been kind to me. During my initial days as a bride, he made sure that I was comfortable. Every morning as I would bring tea for him, he spent a good hour chatting and reliving days of his childhood! We have become friends now. I can discuss anything with him…. anything. Just like how S had described, he too would give me lot of care, pampering and privacy(when needed) during my days of breastfeeding Diya. There were times when he visited us alone , and understood the time constraints I was going through. During those times, he would just take over the entire kitchen (much to Mary’s anguish), and cook amazing dishes! And wouldn’t let even my fake protests work (who wants to speak against such wonderful meal times!!). He makes sure that Diya learns one new dance step every day. And for me, well! he looks after the food intake much more closely than anyone except perhaps my own parents…
Our evening tea time is usually spent discussing our (messy) financial state. And my office gossip. And family matters.
I miss that now since he has gone back to his hometown. And am already looking forward to his next visit.