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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

A Heart-Felt Gratitude

Mark Elam Campbell

My wonderful father-in-law went home to be with Jesus a week ago today. It's taken all this time for the reality of his death to sink in. He was only 54, far too young to leave us behind. I've been with my husband and his family since Friday of last week, and I'm reminded of how blessed I am because of this man.

We lived on opposite sides of the country and saw each other so infrequently, but he left a legacy for all his family that I'll never forget. This post is my tribute to him, for as I've written before and will no doubt write again: writing is healing and therapeutic, and I need a little therapy. So today's Treatment Tuesday puts the therapist herself on the couch.

To Mark, my husband's father, best friend, best man, best example, and grandfather to my little girl, his first (and only) granddaughter:

Thank you for your example of marital contentment that you fostered in the life of my husband from an early age. Your love for your wife helped my husband see that the love between he and I was the permanent and lasting kind.

Thank you for your example of fatherhood, your sacrifices to better your family and give them special experiences together. You helped my husband see how children do not complete a marriage, but round it out. You loved your children, always telling my husband that you loved him everytime you talked. Life was too short to beat around the bush, and you weren't too macho to show this love and affection to him, which in turn allows my husband to break that gender stereotype as well.

Thank you for your example to my husband that he can do anything he puts his mind to. You showed him this when you bought manuals on laying a roof and building a baby crib from scratch. Why pay someone else to do what you can do yourself? My husband inherited your knack for tinkering, and while I can't always say I've appreciated him taking things apart, I always seek his input when something baffles me, because he got this unbelievable since of know-how from you.

Thank you for serving your country. My husband was proud to follow in your footsteps. The military made him who he is today.

Thank you for all the free hotel rooms you hooked us up with during the last almost 6 years. All that traveling you did sure did pay off for us. It was so nice to be able to call you in a pinch direction-wise too. Guess I'll have to get better at GPS now.

Thank you for your legacy that we will now pass on to our daughter. I'm sad she wont get to know her Papa, but it is my most fervent wish for her that she comes to know Jesus herself to ensure that she sees you again.

Rest in peace and say hello to my grandparents. Fry them up some fish for me. See you soon.

In honor of this man and in deference to my need and desire to be present with family, my blog will be silent until Friday's free association. You can click here for a chance to win Winning Him Without Words. A winner will be randomly chosen on Saturday.

Wordle: signature


S.A. Larsenッ said...

This is a beautiful tribute to an obviously wonderful and greatly loved man. My sincerest sympathies.

Keli Gwyn said...

Jeannie, I wept my way through your moving tribute. My heart goes out to you and your family in the loss of a very special man, your father-in-love.

Cecilia Marie Pulliam said...

I will keep you and your family in my prayers. It is hard to let go, but we carry them in our hearts, always.

Joy Tamsin David said...

I'm sorry for your loss. :(

Krista Phillips said...

SO sorry for your loss! Praying for your family!

Jessica Nelson said...

Jeannie, I'm so sorry for your loss. :-( This is a beautiful tribute!

Jeannie Campbell, LMFT said...

thank you so much. he was a wonderful man, and is sorely missed.

Julie Arduini said...

That was beautiful. Prayers to you and your family, and I received the book you sent. Thank you, and blessings.

Anonymous said...

So sorry about your loss. You and your family will be in my prayers.

Unknown said...

This is a wonderful tribute :) Reading this was worth every second.

I am kim - a child psychologist denver

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Both comments and questions are welcome. I hope you enjoyed your time on the couch today.