Monday, February 8, 2010

But How Will I Know It’s You?

After a long struggle with diabetes and heart disease, my father-in-law passed away last week. I was so sorry to see him go. He was 82 and kept his great sense of humor until the very end.

You know those fathers-in-law that don’t get in your business, praise the least little effort on your part, and laugh at every feeble joke you tell? Right. He was one of those. A good guy, who raised good kids. I hope he’s having a seriously happy afterlife drinking coffee in whatever Shoney’s heaven’s got.

Here's a little Jim Zitzman tribute to break the long blog silence: Whenever I or the 500Jerk Spouse would agree to meet him somewhere, after sorting through all the directions and logistics about it ("Let's get a pencil and figure this thing out."), he would invariably pause, then ask, “But how will I know it’s you?” It never failed to crack me up.

So when I do finally get to that Shoney’s in the sky, Dad Z., I’ll know it’s you because:

1. You’ll be drinking coffee
2. Or asking what a fella has to do to get a cup.
3. Also a nickel glass of buttermilk.
4. Your bright blue eyes will twinkle
5. And you’ll be smiling at everyone in the room
6. But especially the pretty girls.
7. You’ll be asking the waitress whether her daddy owns the place--
8. And she’ll get the joke.
9. Your grandbabies will be sitting in your lap
10. And your dog will be barking out her multiplication tables.
11. There’ll be a good garage sale down the road, run by fool Yankees who don’t know half the worth of what they’re selling.
12. You’ll be telling me you always wanted a little girl named Kathleen.
13. And how the best part of having boys is getting to have a bunch of terrific daughters-in-law.
14. Then you’ll try to slip me fifty bucks while no one's looking.
15. "Cash money."
16. You'll hold my hand and tell me I'm your coffee buddy.
17. Then we'll drive over to that garage sale and buy up a bunch of old hammers for your collection.

We sure do miss you, Dad Z. Love to you always.


barbara said...

This brought tears to my eyes.

AppyLove said...

Me too, BF.

So, it turns out your father-in-law was a beloved former teacher of about half of my best friends from high school--the other half, like me, being east-siders and not knowing him. Needless to say, there have been many social media tributes to him on my screen in the past week and he is remembered with lots of love all around.

I'm so sorry for your loss (my husband is too--Mr. Z was his tennis coach and my father-in-law worked with him for ten years or so at RJHS) and we will be thinking of you.

500Jerk said...

Hi Appy Love,
I shared your nice comments with Mr. Z's family, and they were so pleased. Thanks so much for the kind words.

gracenov said...

wow. a truly beautiful testament. I wish I could have known him.