My first son-in-law, Dusty came into my life during the early stages of my loss phase. That’s him in the picture, a few weeks ago, at the painting party for the fixer-up home of our soon-to-be-newlyweds.
When Dusty began hanging around our family, my parents and all the animals in my life were still alive and two daughters were still living in my home.
Looking back I can see how huge an asset Dusty was for all five of us women in the family.
The primary man in our lives until then was Ed, an alpha leader with a lot of beta creativity and humor. (How else would he have survived FIVE women in his home?) Dusty is more a beta male with alpha abilities. Both of these character types make great romantic heroes in a story, especially when tall, toned, and with dark hair. However, Ed had been in a severe car accident two years earlier and had left all his beta character traits behind at the scene of the crash. An injured alpha male on pain meds is not very fun to hug.
Dusty was this gentle, yet charismatic, male energy we all needed the summer when my parents died in 2005, and the following winter when Ed had corrective surgery. Women need comforting hugs from a good man during such times and Dusty gives great hugs. He dug the grave and buried our family dog that spring of 2006. He was interested-in-the-history-as-a-new-family-member when we visited my parents graves for the first time. We were in Ohio for my in-laws 50th wedding anniversary.
Dusty was this calm and pleasant beacon of light in our family during stormy weather. Dusty was a romantic hero for five women during a time when that’s exactly what we needed. The wedding, in August of 2006, that officially brought Dusty into our family – was awesome. It wasn’t nice that two weeks after the honeymoon we got news that Dusty had aggressive lymphoma and could die.
Six years later we are thrilled that Dusty is still cancer free and doing fine. That he can perch on counter ledges to paint a ceiling is beyond awesome.
My personal message to the other son-in-laws in my life: Please don’t attempt to live up to who Dusty was for us. We don’t want to go there and, trust me, neither do you. The women in the family are content with Dusty’s awesomeness. Bring us your own – you’ve already got it or you wouldn’t be in the family pictures.
Dusty is thrilled to have good men, brothers, in our family, so you can share the blame for what us women may decide to do…