(originally posted March 5th, 2005)

My wife’s father passed away today; his name was Clyde. Because of her family dynamics, I can’t say that I knew Clyde all that well. Matter of fact, in 10 years I never addressed him by name in any way; I wasn’t sure what to call him, so we just talked. As explanation of what I mean by odd family dynamics, my wife didn’t know how old her father was until a month ago, when he’d already been in the hospital for three weeks or so.

I don’t have many tales to tell about Clyde, though I could probably go on forever about the few I do have. Instead, I’m going to say that this was a man of contradictions. On one hand, he was a man of personal integrity, and that got him many friends. On the other, he was kind of a player when it came to women, and that’s all I’m going to say about that. He was sort of an enigma, even to my wife; she was never sure when he was telling the truth, or at least the whole story, until something came to pass. Sometimes he came to town and we wouldn’t know it until he was back home; other times, he’d call and ask if he could stay with us, and he was always welcome.

My brief word on Clyde is that he always treated me right; he was always kind and gracious to me. He was courteous to my parents, and was there for me when my dad passed. He’s always been there for my wife when she’s needed him, and that’s all I needed to know about the man. He wasn’t perfect, but he was a good man when it counted. The world is a lesser place today without his presence.