A Lifetime of Love
On November 2, 2021 my father-in-law Alan Veale passed away. He had been sick for a while so we knew we were on borrowed time, but knowing that doesn’t make the loss any easier. I’ve been trying to write this post for the past few days, but haven’t been able to find the words to express my thoughts. I still feel as if I haven’t found the words, but I’m writing anyway. Sometimes you just need to write and the words will come, at least that’s what I’m hoping for.
We got the call around 2:45am. As everyone knows, calls in the middle of night are never good. It was Fonzy’s mom crying, saying his Dad was unresponsive and the EMT’s were trying to revive him. They got a pulse and left for the hospital. 30 mins or so later Fonzy received the text that he had passed. My heart broke for him as I held him while he wept. Fonzy is very close to his Dad. They would get on the phone and talk for hours. His passing is going to leave a huge hole in his life. We never went back to sleep once we got the news. We booked flights and got ready to fly out the next day. Our main concern was being there for Fonzy’s mom. I can’t express to you how much I love my mother in law Elodia. I tell everyone I have the best mother in law in the world and if Fonzy and I ever broke up, I would be keeping his momma. Her and Alan had 43 years together and I think she will feel the loss the most.
We spent 9 days in Texas being with Fonzy’s family, loving each other, planning the funeral, sharing memories and trying to cope with such a big loss. Alan and Elodia are the nucleus of Fonzy’s family. Their house is the gathering place for everyone, family and friends alike. The night before the funeral during the visitation family and friends shared how much Alan meant to them and the story was always the same, Alan gave love to everyone. So many spoke of him being the father they never had, of always being supportive and being the one person who always said, I’m proud of you. He always gave all he had, no matter how much or little he had. If anyone needed anything, they knew they could go to Alan and he would provide, be it money, his time, encouragement or just someone to talk to. As I write this, I feel my words are lacking in what a larger than life person Alan was and how much he meant to everyone who knew him. His life story is so amazing, it involves growing up in California, bank robbing, prison, drug addiction, being scouted for professional baseball while in prison and finally ending up in Odessa, TX being a husband, father to his own kids and hundreds others as a baseball coach. I couldn’t believe the stories I heard of his life in California, because the man I knew was nothing like that. But that’s not my story to tell. For years Fonzy has wanted to write the story of Dad’s life and I’m hoping he will. The world should know Alan Veale.
The three pictures I share are my favorites of Alan and Elodia. Their life and love has not always been easy. They were married 3 times to each other, divorced twice. When divorced, they might as well have been married because they were still in each other’s day to day life, sometimes still living together. Through all the ups and downs their love for each other never failed. At times I’m sure they didn’t like each other, but love never dies and it always brought them back together. Elodia said Alan was the love of her life, and we all know he was and is still.
The other morning I was FaceTiming with Elodia. Even before Alan passed we would talk everyday. She was sitting on her back patio with her nieces and sister. As they chatted beside her, she showed me a shadow on the ground, and said before I called she noticed a shadow moving, looked behind her and a feather was floating down. With tears in her eyes she told me her baby (Alan) was sending her angel wings to let her know he was there with her and with all my heart I believe he is. Life is filled with so many little moments we never truly think about until they are gone. She mentioned how when she was cold at night she would put her cold feet between Alan’s legs to warm them up. There’s late night TV watching, morning coffee, sitting in the backyard on the 4th of July, just the two of them watching fireworks. So many little memories of a life together she shared with tear filled eyes and sometimes even laughter with the tears. I believe sharing those memories keeps our loved ones here with us. Alan may not physically be here with us/her, but he lives on in all the lives he touched, all the love he gave, and all the precious memories we share.
Dear peeps, life is so short, please love while you can. Cuddle, kiss, hold hands, watch tv, have morning coffee together. Do whatever brings you joy with the ones you love and cherish every precious moment no matter how small or mundane it may be, because one day they may not be here.