Matt's dad, Rick, retired at the end of February after decades of straightening people's teeth. This past weekend he had a retirement dinner to honor his staff. Matt, his sister Elizabeth and I all went back to surprise him. And it worked!! It had been months of secret emails, secret phone calls, frustrations...but I think it was worth it. He had no clue. And if you knew him, you would know how miraculous this was!
He is one of the most giving people I know, and never wants the attention on him. (I am sure he is not happy with me right now!) We wanted to do something for him, but didn't feel like anything we could do would ever show him how much we love, respect, honor and appreciate him. That is when we decided to just be there for him this weekend. I am so glad we did.
I understand more than I once did about kids and parenting. One thing I don't understand yet is how it feels to have your kids home, once they don't live with you anymore. But seeing and hearing how happy he was that his kids were home made me realize we had chosen our gift to him wisely. I pray I can be the kind of parent to my boys that makes them want to come home and be with us after they have their own families.
The sad part is the house Matt grew up in, since he was 18 months old, is now sold to someone else. So we surprised Rick this weekend, we celebrated, and we said goodbye to an integral part of Matt's memories, and mine as well. I have been around long enough that it was sad for me, too. But everything has a season. We are thrilled for his parents and this new journey they are now on. But I am ever so grateful that memories are stored in our hearts and minds, and not within 4 walls.
So congrats to my father-in-law. I couldn't have asked for a better example for Matt, on being husband and provider for our family. I couldn't have asked for a better father-in-law, even if he wallpapers totally wrong!!! :)