Everyone who knows me knows I love my bride. They all know she's the most important thing in the world to me and the reason I get up when the alarm clock screams. Everyone who knows me knows I loved my Mother. I can't think of baseball, collard greens, Frank Sinatra or Glen Miller without getting tears in my eyes because I worshiped the woman who gave birth to me. Everyone who knows me knows I love my sisters. Three distinct individuals who all did their part to raise the baby of the family. Everyone who knows me knows I love my Mother-in-law. Mother-in-laws become the butt of way too many jokes. Not mine. When my own mother died she made it a point to pull me aside and tell me that she couldn't replace my Mother but she'd do her best to make sure I knew she loved me and wanted to take care of me. She does that and then some. What people may not know is that, so far, the first person to make me cry like a baby on this Valentine's Day wasn't a woman (and it's supposed to be a woman that makes you emotional on the day we've set aside for, well, mushy things.) No, the person that put me in a 'mushy' frame of mind was my father-in-law.
He put a Valentine's card in my hand yesterday. Hallmark's handiwork didn't mention a son-in-law. It mentioned a son........period. We talked on the phone later in the evening and he wanted to make SURE I'd noticed the card didn't say son-in-law....he wanted to make sure I'd noticed it just said "Son."
My own father left this world when I was a still a young man. ONE time he shook my hand and I damn near fainted. I figured he loved me, but was never really sure. He's probably somewhere now regretting that he didn't tell me. By the same token he's probably somewhere thanking God that Charles Fowler IS taking the time to tell me. He may one day get the opportunity to thank Charles Fowler personally for saying things he never got the opportunity to say. I sure hope that day ain't in the near future.