After my first story submission, someone wanted to hear more about my husband's father. I wanted to share this story of when I first met my husband. It's a lighter hearted one then my last, but one I think of fondly.
When I first met my husband, we had a lot in common, such as our parents both being sick with cancer, being one of 2 kids, having the same breed of dog, etc. The other thing we had in common was that both of our dads are pranksters. His dad would frequently play tricks on him, and my dad was the master of pranks at our house.
After dating for a few weeks, I was invited to his house for dinner and a movie. I was nervous to meet his family, but super excited nonetheless. On the drive over, Rob (husband) kept warning me that sometimes his dad thinks he's funny and can take a joke a bit too far, so if I felt like he crossed the line to let him know, as his dad always appreciated a "spitfire girl." So we arrive and walk in the door to his dad running from the living room at mach speed, in nothing but his t-shirt and underwear. I looked at Rob in shock, as that certainly wasn't what I expected to see upon arrival.
His dad came out a few minutes later and was embarrassed as anyone could have been. I tried to put him at ease by saying, "If it weren't for the fact that you have nowhere to put them, I would have thought someone stole your keys and you were in hot pursuit!" His dad looked at me, and started to laugh so hard that I thought he was going to choke. He instantly took a liking to me, and announced that I was definitely a keeper.
We had a very fast courtship (and we are coming up on our 10th anniversary in May!) and were married after only 5 months of dating. A few weeks after our wedding, his dad took a turn for the worse, and ended up having a central line inserted into his neck for his cancer treatment. It was often painful for him to bend over and put on pants, or even a shirt most days. He usually sat in his underwear with a blanket thrown over him, and would only get up if no one was home or if he let us know he needed to get up. I would always joke with him when we caught him in his undies, and tell him, "I know the house is locked, so there is no way anyone has stolen your keys."
After several weeks of treatment, the doctor told us that there was nothing else they could do but make him comfy as the cancer had just gotten too bad. So we began to prepare for the day when he would pass, and he tried to made it as light hearted as possible for everyone. When the morning came that he passed on, I remember calling my husband and telling him he needed to come home. Ironically I didn't feel sad, but instead felt very much content and at peace with it.
The next few days were a blur of planning and mourning, as we prepared for the funeral. Several times over those days, I kept hearing heavy footsteps in the upstairs bedroom that was my father-in-laws. It would go from his room to ours, and back again. It happened at all hours, and started to become regular around the house. Every time this happened, I remember feeling like I just wanted to laugh, but not wanting to as I didn't want people to think I wasn't taking his death seriously.
The day of the funeral came, and we prepared to say our final farewell. I was upstairs getting ready, and took my keys off the table by my bed and put them in my purse with some tissue. A short while later, we headed out the door, locking it behind us. When we got out to the car, my husband waited while I dug around in my purse for my keys. I knew I had put them in there, and couldn't figure out what had happened. I decided they must have fallen out and went to go back inside, only to realize that we locked the door behind us and my keys were inside. I asked my husband to unlock the door, but he said he thought I had my keys so he left his.
With everyone already on their way, we decided to call a locksmith and also his mom to let her know what had happened. We couldn't have picked the lock if we wanted to, as we have one of those deadbolt locks on the inside where the thumb turn is removable (make sense?). So there we sat waiting for the locksmith, and while we waited we shared a few memories of his dad. We talked about the first time I met his family, the time we went camping and his dad replaced my fish with chicken, and I loved it so much I told everyone that the fish tasted like chicken. And let's not forget the weekend that his dad took us all out to eat at a Chinese restaurant, led us to believe that he knew Chinese and ordered us all salt and peppered squid. Or when he replaced the sugar for salt and I made sugar cookies without knowing.
The locksmith arrived and managed to get us inside without too much trouble. I went inside to check for my keys, and imagine my surprise when I found them... Hanging on the removable deadbolt. I would have noticed this as I was going out the door, as I had to unlock it on the way out. Needless to say, I told the locksmith that I must have put them there while I was getting my stuff together.
As I walked out of the house and down to the car, I had a smirk on my face the entire way. My husband asked me if I found my keys, and I told him that I had. He said, "Oh, getting forgetful in your old age, and left them on the hook, huh?" I laughed and said, "Nope, your dad stole them." He looked at me with a blank look, shook his head, and started to laugh. I truly believe that it was his last little prank to play, as I always matched him toe to toe. Like he felt the need to one up me and poke fun at me about my keys, just the same way I did to him all the time. This is the first of many encounters with his dad, as he has become a natural part of life at our house. When we can't find something we always say, "Alright, Brad, yes it's funny, but put it back." It's not at all scary, just comforting to know he's still around.
Thank you for making me feel comfortable enough to share.