Tuesday night was incredibly special for me to experience with my husband, right up there with watching him get baptized. It was a precious experience that not many other people have, and I pray that they don't have it.
Jon's dad passed away 3 years ago in July, it was the morning of our first date. I never got to meet him and Jon had just begun telling me about him the week before he passed. He died of a heart attack but suffered many other things prior so we have peace knowing he is no longer in pain. If you know anything about Jon, you'd know he has a love of cars. He knows more than you can imagine about cars...new ones, old ones, engines, transmissions, makes, models, years. I love driving by old cars and Jon will tell me the exact year (because yes there are difference between the 66, 67, 68, and 69 mustangs people!). And it all stemmed from his dad. Jon's dad was disabled from a work accident and retired by 33 so the memories Jon has of him aren't outside playing catch or wrestling in the living room. They are of cars. Riding in the backseat of his dad's mustang, helping him in the garage, and going to quarter mile drag races. Jon's favorite smell is exhaust, and he has his dad to thank for this one.
Tuesday night I finally understood the root of Jon's love for cars when his dad's 87 mustang was delivered from Ohio.
I can't even begin to describe Jon's face as tears welled in his eyes. It is a moment I was lucky enough to capture with my camera but will forever remember in my mind.
Jon's best friend, also Jon, who grew up with my Jon in Cleveland and now lives in Austin, was there with us. Jon N. told us he has been waiting to drive this car since he was in 6th grade. These two boys were giddy.
I don't know much about cars (but I am learning!) but this one is very powerful. Jon's dad did lots of work on it and the truck driver was so impressed!! The car has a V8 Cobra engine, which supposedly is pretty crazy. And it is LOUD!!!!!!! I always hated guys with loud cars trying to show off in high school but now we have the loudest thing I've ever heard in our garage :-).
Jon plans on building a Shelby Cobra kit car or a fastback Mustang transplant with his dad's car (we weren't lying on House Hunters!). Jon has been planning on getting his dad's car for years and we finally have the space for it in our new home. So we are now a 3 car family and I have no idea how to drive the Mustang. Thinking about driving a manual stresses me out!
Jon's stepmom and grandpa filled the car with lots of Jon's dads things and Jon's things from growing up. Jon's dad was named Robert, Robbie or Bob for short. They sent his old Air Force uniform, letter jacket (he was a swimmer) and letter sweater, old Browns hats, model cars, and best of all..the Hart family guns. We had previously owned 3 guns but now we own 6. And one of them is all mine!! I am now the proud owner of a 22 pistol, passed down from many generations of Harts. The two others are a shot gun and rifle. I plan on keeping the shotgun handy in case we have intruders when Jon is gone...just the sound of cocking it is frightening!
Our house is protected by the Lord and guns :-)
We do not shoot game, just for fun FYI
Last night was emotional for both of us. I cried watching my husband light up, but I also cried for my father in law. It is selfish for me to say I am sad I didn't meet him because one day, I will be reunited with him in the ultimate paradise. I am sad that my husband doesn't have a father, but I am happy he considers my dad his own. I am sad my children won't have a grandfather on his side, but I am happy we have so many people that will love our babies. Jon will be the first to tell you his father was not perfect, but those imperfections have taught him how to be a father to Ernie and to our future children.
Last night Jon told me when he looks down at his hands, he sees his dad's hands. I think he has his dad's nose and mouth (and awesome full head of hair).
I'm not sure how this came to be but after Tuesday night, I find myself aching for a son. Because Jon doesn't have a father, part of me thinks I want to fill that hole in his life with a baby boy. One that looks like Jon and Robbie. I pray that the Lord gives us a son sometime in the future, who will get to play with Jon's childhood toys we now have.
I know this post is getting lengthy but I do want to mention something about in laws. I will be the first to say it is nice not having to share holidays between families. I think I've said before that we are not close to Jon's mom. I met her once, a few years ago and Jon talks to her about once a year so we get to spend all the holidays and special occasions with my family, which is perfect and what I love. It would make me sad not waking up at my parents house on Christmas or spending Thanksgiving at their house but I don't really have a choice. Yes in laws may be pesky, over bearing, and give constant advice, but be lucky you have them. Let them know that you are thankful for them the next time you see them. Do it for me?
So the experience I pray that you don't have is losing a parent. Don't take for granted any conversation you have with your loved ones, you never know when it will be your last. Though he may not be here physically, I am getting to know my father in law through clothing, photos, guns, and his special car.