Monday, October 20, 2008
Jerry's sister in law Wenda flew over to Texas earlier this month to do some genealogy (took pictures, organized pictures, got the correct spelling, looked into correct dates for weddings) and we got the chance to chat while we were driving around. It wasn't really anything she said, but more of what I said to her about him that helped me realize just how much Wayne really means to me. How much I admire him.
Here is a man who wasn't much of a father to his sons when they were children/teenagers; at least not in the traditional way people of my generation expect fathers to be. He was abusive, demanding, negligent, belligerent, selfish ... you get the point. However, he has evolved and improved. You can tell he truly loves his sons. He wants what's best for them. He wants to see them achieve their goals and even to the point of giving when he should just stand back and let them fall. He calls them all at least a couple times a day, just to chat, to keep in touch, because he likes his sons. When you see him with them you can tell he gets no greater joy or pride out of their accomplishments and happiness.
Then there's his roll as my children's grandfather. He cannot do enough for my kids, tries his best to know them personally, takes interest in what they are doing, asks about them continually, tries to keep a lid on his temper when B-Man tries his patience, "sneaks" Ms. R coins and treats. Yesterday when I was talking to him about attending an Autism summit up in Vancouver, BC, Canada in February he offered to use his air miles (the man has more than a million accumulated...) to fly me there because he knows how important me being involved in my kids education is to me.
Our relationship has hit bumpy patches, but for the greater part ... Wayne has been a real stand up kind of guy. Being an only child, he loves confirmation that whatever he has done has been done. I'm more than willing to be his affirmative action person. We always enjoy doing projects together, from building cabinets to laying hardwood to tinkering in an engine to planning vacations.
He a good man, I am grateful he is part of my life.