Monday, January 23, 2012

Rescued

I have spent the last three days mentally composing and deleting and editing this post. I am not usually at a complete loss for words, but this time, every phrase has felt inadequate and incomplete. I know that many, if not all of you will understand though, so here it is…
It was November 13, 1998, the day I first met the man who would become my Father in Law. I don’t recall any words that he spoke to me that night, but I do remember his quiet presence across the table, and the way his eyes carefully watched and appraised this Girl who was with his Son. He must have liked what he saw though, because I was welcomed into his family with open arms.
Always an optimist, and quite a free spirit, there wasn’t much about him that was conventional and expected. One of the most resourceful and innovative people I have ever known, he one winter found himself just days before Christmas, being told that the house he was renting for his family had been sold and he had to get out. Most people would panic in that situation, and perhaps he did a little, but within days, he had secured property, bought a travel trailer and a generator, and was able to keep his family warm and dry until Spring, when he could build a structure for them to live in.
He had a way of seeing what was in a person before they themselves did, I think. And he had a way of encouraging and speaking to those qualities until they became obvious to that person. It was that way with my art. There is not one person on the face of the earth who has encouraged and cheered and added ideas to my artistic endeavors more than he. Always asking what I was up to next, and being truly thrilled with each success.
He himself was an artist, sometimes caught up by life circumstances and a practical nature, but always seeing with an eye that noticed lines and curves, color and contrast, in the beauty of our world. He learned to capture that beauty with his camera and with a hammer and with his words, often weaving stories that captivated the attention of everyone in the room.
Over the years, I have watched him in his relationship with my Farmboy, and enjoyed listening to their conversations, as they spent hours troubleshooting and fixing or building something. Fences, wells, bulldozers, houses, barns, cupboards, ponds, birdhouses, rock walls; you name it, they could together figure it out and build it better than ever before. The mutual respect and admiration that they had for each other was easily apparent to anyone who saw their interactions.
But what I appreciated about him the best, was his unwavering faith. Having experienced more than his share of heartache and difficulty in life, he remained grounded and secure in his relationship with his Heavenly Father. He knew, and demonstrated with his life, that people and situations would let him down, but that his Creator would always remain faithful. After struggling with illness for a very long time, that Creator came and rescued him from his broken body on Thursday evening.
I can’t claim to have known him best or longest or anywhere near the depth of those who have walked beside him for many more years. But I know that he loved me, and was proud to have me as Daughter by marriage. I never once doubted how he felt about the addition I made to the family. And for that I am very grateful.
I will miss him dearly for the rest of my days on earth, miss the place he held in my Farmboy's life, and regret the Grandpa-shaped hole in my Children's future. But together, with his brother and sisters, wife, daughter, son-in-law, grandchildren and countless friends, we will keep his life story vibrant and part of our verbal history. And together, we will remember the time coming when we will be reunited for eternity.
Joel Kevin Twist
August 11, 1942 - January 19, 2012

46 comments:

Jen said...

I can't thank you enough for the honoring post, sis...what incredible memories we have. I already miss him beyond measure.

basketsnprims said...

Beth, I am so sorry for the loss and the big hole this has left in the entire family. You are all in my thoughts and prayers.
hugs,
pam

Colleen said...

What a loving tribute. Hugs to you all...

Anonymous said...

Oh Beth I am so sorry for loss.
wonderful words and thoughts you put together. He sounds like a gentlemen that could and did leave footprints on your heart. thoughts and prayers are with you and your farmboy.
take care
Darlene N
Mi

Siobhán said...

Beth, I am so, so sorry. Words aren't enough to express how sorry I am for your family's loss. Your FIL sounds like an amazing man. How lucky you all were to have him in your life. Lots of prayers will be said for all of you.

Bertie said...

So sorry to hear of your FIL's loss, you must miss him so much! A wonderful tribute, he would have been proud.

valerie said...

Beautiful post to honor your FIL. So sorry for the loss to you and your family.

eileen said...

What a beautiful tribute, to what I can only say from reading your post, is a beautiful person, husband,father, grandfather and friend. My condolences to all of you who were blessed to be touched by his life.
I will keep you all in my prayers.
eileen

Mouse said...

I think what you said was just perfect in every way (((((hugs))) to you all ... love mouse xxxxx

Vickie Niggemann said...

I am so sorry for you. Thank God he and your family are Christian. Prayers for you and your family.

stitcheranon said...

A perfect post and I am sure your Father in Law would agree. Words from the heart and you cannot get better than that. I am sorry for your loss. Prayers will be sent to help ease the pain xxx

sjsltd@vacoxmail.com said...

Your words about father-in-law are beautiful.
I can tell that all of you will miss him so much, but you were blessed to have such a special person in your life.
Sandra Sullivan
Homespun Elegance

Dana Baker said...

Hello, I visit your blog from time to time and enjoy it so much. I have never commented here but wanted to let you know how this post about your wonderful father in law touched my heart. We lost my husbands father suddenly 5 years ago and oh how we miss him. I am so sorry for you and your family and will pray that the Lord will comfort you all.

gracie said...

He must be smiling as he is reading the tribute you have posted. My thoughts are with you and the Twist Family....

Dora said...

A beautiful tribute. I'm so sorry for your family's loss. My thoughts and prayers are with your family.

JoJo said...

Beth, what a beautiful tribute to a man you obviously loved and cared about very much. My sincere sympathy and condolences to you and your entire family on the loss of your father-in-law. What a special man he must have been.

With quiet, comforting hugs.
JoJo

Faye said...

Cherishh his memories and remember the good times. Your tribute is simply beautiful. Always, Faye

LaDonna said...

What a beautiful tribute to your father-in-law. Keeping you and your family in my thoughts.

Theresa said...

Beth what a beautiful tribute to your father-in-law....I was crying by the end of it. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.

Heather said...

I am so very sorry for your loss and for your families loss.

Anonymous said...

Beth,
So sorry for your loss. Kiss Farmboy and Mother in law for us. Sending prayers your way.

Cindy

Cath said...

I read your beautiful post and cried , for all of you and for me as my Father in Law meant a lot to me too , and I still miss him five years after his passing.
Thinking of you all at this time. XXX

DaisyGirl said...

I'm so sorry to hear of your loss. I'm glad you have wonderful memories to cherish and I'm praying for your family.
DaisyGirl

lynda said...

I am so sorry for your loss. Your father-in-law was an amazing man, and he will live on in your stories and memories. Your family is in my thoughts and prayers.

Penny said...

What a beautiful tribute to your FIL..... I am so sorry for your loss. Prayers for you and the rest of your family for comfort in the midst of sadness. May his memory bring you many smiles in the future......

Simple Pleasure said...

Beth
I am new to your blog...found my way her from Faye at Carolina Stitcher.
This is such a touching first blog for me to read. You and your family as so blessed to have these memories to cherish. I am indeed sorry for your loss and will remember all of you in my prayers.
Busy Hands...Happy Heart
Patricia

Donna G. said...

Beth, What a great tribute to your father-in-law. And what a great comfort and peace it is knowing that when his eyes closed here they immediately opened in the presence of Jesus.

Catherine said...

The words you have written about your dear father-in-law are beautiful. You are all very lucky to have had him in your life, as he sounds like an amazing man. Thoughts and prayers go out to you and your family...

Gregory said...

Thank you for sharing the great photos. I know he will be missed and remembered fondly!

Nan said...

Very touching and well said tribute to your father-in-law. How lucky to have such a great relationship with him. God bless you in this time of sorrow.

marly said...

What a loving tribute you penned. I'm sorry you lost such a treasured member of your family.

Natalia said...

What a beautiful way to remember your FIL. Sounds like he was a remarkable man. I am so glad that you got to share in his life and that you have many memories to cherish. No better place to be than with the God of the universe. May he rest in peace.

Andrea said...

So sorry for your loss. What a lovely tribute to him, loved reading it and my heart just goes out to you and your family...

Rochelle said...

Very nice post. I dont know him, but i loved this post and it made me cry. Sorry for your loss.

MoonBeam said...

What a touching and wonderful tribute, made even stronger with your wonderful photos. God bless your family during this time of loss.

Bobbi

Anonymous said...

Beth-You are such an amazing woman! What a beautiful heartfelt powerful tribute to your father n law. My heart & prayers go out to Matt, you, your kids & the whole family. Crombie Family

Katrina said...

What a sweet tribute to your father-in-law!!! Lots of prayers for you and your family, I can't imagine what a huge loss it is for you all. God Bless!

LoriU said...

I'm so sorry for your loss. He sounds like a wonderful man.

Anonymous said...

so sorry for your loss!!!

Unknown said...

Beth,
That was beautiful. Made me wish I had known him and wish my husband could have had a father like that.
Lord bless and comfort you and your family.
~Osa

Stitching Cat said...

Sending heartfelt wishes to you and your family at this time!

Teri said...

My condolences to your families.

Kaisievic said...

Beth, what a wonderful tribute to your father-in-law. He sounds like he was a truly beautiful human being. Your loss is great and I grieve with you.

My condolences.

love Kaye xoxox

Ellen said...

Beautiful post. It really touched my heart. What a loving man he obviously was. It's always hard on those of us who are left. We know our loved ones are in perfection now, but we ache for our loss. That's normal. Take care dear.

JOLENE said...

Such a touching tribute on your farmboy's papa. He was truly an amazing man in your eyes as was you in his. Sending peace and comfort to you and your family at such a sad time in your lives. Just remember he is only a memory away and he will live on in your heart forever.

la femme elisabeth said...

So sorry for your loss Matt & Beth. Learned today that it's your niece Savannah that my Ava loves and cherishes from school, so when I read this on your blog was saddened for you all. Praying comfort and peace from our Savior's hands. Lots of love, elisa(beth) "green" (brawley)