I feel I should explain why there was no Perfume Chat Room post last Friday, as I try to make sure I set up that weekly space for community chit-chat. My father-in-law, whom I loved dearly, died last Monday and his funeral was yesterday. So yes, the last couple of Mondays have been sad ones.
But, as the Carpenters’ lyrics say,
Nice to know somebody loves me
Funny, but it seems that it’s the only thing to do
Run and find the one who loves me (the one who loves me)
My father-in-law knew how much he was loved, and my husband knows how much I loved his father. He always made me feel that I belonged, right from the start, although I was the first non-Catholic to marry into the family. My FIL, a decorated career military officer, was totally open and direct about his affection for people he loved — he proposed to my MIL on their first date, and he proposed to me on behalf of my then-boyfriend, now husband, the first night I met my future in-laws. He was a dear, dear man, who taught his sons also to be loving, kind men. And while we’re sad to lose him and will miss him, he was in his 90s and had lost his beloved wife of 60 years five years ago. He was clear of mind and loyal of heart until the very end, and he chose not to go back to the hospital when his heart issues worsened. He wanted to be reunited with his beloved, and had the faith that he would be.
It’s funny, because I don’t actually know whether my FIL ever wore Old Spice, but to me he was the quintessential “dad” who would have worn it. Old-fashioned in a nice way. Warm, cozy, and fatherly. Deceptively simple and straightforward, with hidden depths that weren’t demons — just more layers of warmth and sweetness, together with complexities. His funeral Mass was beautiful, and it included the traditional incense, which I found very comforting.
“Now cracks a noble heart. Good-night, sweet prince;
And flights of angels sing thee to thy rest. ”
— William Shakespeare