goodbye, dad royal

poppy and poppa pete

poppy & her grandfather

my father in law passed away a week ago today. lymphoma, that voracious, insidious bastard of a cancer, finally took him to the other side. he was a strong man, spiritually and physically. he was gregarious, humble, hilarious, and loving. he will be so missed by so many. he was very religious (a devout catholic), very active in service to his church, a member of many religious service organizations, and was a salesman for du pont for over 40 years. he was a graduate of duke, a former football player, runner, and a very avid fisherman. he had touched so many people's lives in his 64 years, and made a friend of nearly every person he met. literally hundreds of people came to his vigil and funeral this past weekend. it was both overwhelming and breathtaking.
peter, poppy and i were in florida for vacation starting june 18th. the day we got here, we got a call from his mother saying dad was nearing the end, so we drove from orlando to jacksonville (where he and my mother in law have their home) to be with him in the hospital CCU in final hours before he died. i was only able to see him for a few minutes (i took care of poppy while peter and his siblings spent time with their dad), but i'll never forget our last conversation:
"i've always thought of you as one of my daughters..."
and i held his hand and responded, "i know. i have always felt that." and it was true. he always did treat me like one of his daughters. he always went out of his way to make sure i was treated like one of the family.
rip, peter a. royal. you were the best father in law in the world. i was lucky to have known you. we love you, and miss you.