"Outside a dog a book is man's best friend, inside a dog it is too dark to read!" -Groucho Marx========="The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid." -Jane Austen========="I don’t believe in the kind of magic in my books. But I do believe something very magical can happen when you read a good book."-JK Rowling========"I spend a lot of time reading." -Bill Gates=========“Ahhh. Bed, book, kitten, sandwich. All one needed in life, really.” -Jacqueline Kelly=========

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Heavy Heart

My beloved father-in-law died last Monday night. He and his wife were in Arizona for a quick vacation and he collapsed and died while taking a shower in the evening. My heart is just broken.
Chet (blue coat) and his brother, Bill, at Rita's wedding in 2012.
Chet was such a strong, loving man. It seemed like he was going to live forever. When other people aged, he seemed to be just the same, strong and vital. It seemed that way until earlier this year when he started having trouble with his heart and yet it still seemed like he would have surgery and all would be well, again. He did have a pacemaker installed and it really didn't help him. We were all coming to terms with his mortality but we weren't prepared for the abruptness of his passing. Now we are left with the hard work of grieving.

As I think about Chet it is hard for me to think of him without a book in his hand. He loved to read. The books he read, however, were the types of books no one ever talks about including him. I think most of them were of the western or spy thriller genres, but I am not sure. When he and his wife would visit us they always wanted to go to our used bookstore. They would buy the bargain books on the 50 cent table so they wouldn't feel bad about reading the book and then abandoning it wherever they were when they finished it. I picture a wake of used paperbacks trailing behind them, left behind on cruise ships, in vacation condos, and tourist hotels. They also bought books for their little mini-lending library outside their home. I am pretty sure that Chet built it and his wife kept it stocked with used books she thought the neighborhood teens and children would like. I love it that they were book lovers.

One time when we visited Don's childhood home, I was prowling around looking for something and I
opened a closet door thinking I might find what I wanted inside. I was shocked at what I found. It was a closet full of Louis L'Amour books, hundreds of them.They were well organized almost as if the closet was a tiny Louis L'Amour bookstore. It makes me smile to even think of it today.

As a tribute to my father-in-law today I am going to read my very first Louis L'Amour book. I'll have to drop by our local used bookstore to find one. And while I'm there, I think I'll pick up a few books to feed the local mini-lending library in hopes that some child drops by and is delighted by the books within.

Rest in peace, Chet. Thanks for the memories.

6 comments:

  1. What a wonderful tribute, Anne! I really felt like I knew Chet after reading your post. So sorry for your family's great loss. Love you!

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    1. Thanks, Margaret. I has been a tough week but there has been laughter, too, as we remember.

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  2. My deepest condolences to you and yours.

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  3. Anne - I might have to go book shopping too. My thoughts and prayers are with you and Don, and the girls. In my limited time with Chet it is his easy laugh that I remember. Knowing Don as well as I do is the the best tribute to the the kind of man that Chet was. Love, Ken

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  4. My sympathies Anne. Very sorry to hear. This is a great tribute to him. I like that he had so many paperbacks stashed. Excellent. My brother liked Louis L'Amour westerns too!

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