6 years ago, I was staying in a country home in France with a friend, when one afternoon a tall figure appeared at the door. His 6’4” frame practically eclipsed the sunlight pouring in behind him - all I could see was this towering silhouette that had to stoop down to get through the doorway. I later met his wife, Tricia and it was on that second meeting that I heard all about this beloved son who happened to also live in Indianapolis. Just 2 years later, this new friend, Dick Short would become my Father-in-law.
Last Saturday you took your leave of this world, having stuck it out for years and not months as the doctors had told you. You and your amazing partner in life, 'The Boss', Tricia raised two beautiful people, Kerry Suzannah and Simon Andrew. We chatted many early mornings over coffee, or late evenings with a glass of red, and nothing from your recollections of the past made you light up with pride more than being able to say that those two were your children. It was to be with them, with us, that you battled longer than most, just to have a little more time. And, you rallied long enough to welcome a 3rd grandchild, Evangeline Rose. She will one day treasure your singing, 'When a Child is Born' to her.
You said goodbye slowly - with summer evenings under the stars, serenading us with your guitar, hugging us with that bear hug that was big enough to wrap up two grown people, telling brilliant/terrible jokes, just looking at your children and grandchildren and enjoying their nearness.
But the truth is, no amount of time together would ever be enough, and I know that you didn’t want us to be sad, Dick, but tears are falling for you just the same. Everyone has their own idea of Heaven, and I like to think that a particular place has been prepared just for you, where you can sing, play guitar, feel the warmth of the sun on your face, laugh, and watch Winston and Wellington run in the endless green fields together.
I am so glad that I met you that day, that our families could meet that one and only time, to see us married in France. When I get to Heaven, I’ll look for you standing tall and restored, even amongst the angels and seraphim. #fathers