Jeff's dad has been gone 29 years today. I always gingerly talk about this topic with my husband who is a man of few but worthy words. Although I never knew Jeff's dad, I know he was an amazing father and husband. I know this from pictures and stories and the man my husband is. Sometimes when I think about the fact that he only had a father figure for eleven years, I am amazed. Jeff is so patient and kind and loving with our kids. Parenting in many ways is effortless for Jeff. I wish it was so for me but I am beyond thankful that the father of my children is better at this than me. Sometimes you think life will be this way or that and well, it is so very different.
Jeff's dad taught him how to to love, how to parent, how to be a man in many ways. Although he only had eleven years with his son, he taught him well. Am I sad that my children will never know Papa Roger? Without a doubt. I know he would have added so much to their lives. But, I also know that life goes on. Jeff's mom is married to a wonderful man. Jeff and his clan would likely never have stayed in the Kalamazoo area if his father lived and it is likely I never would have met this man who has blessed me beyond measure. I have no doubt that Roger Simpson's spirit certainly lives on in his children and grandchildren. I think he would have enjoyed watching Matthew play hockey, negotiating any number of things with Caroline, dealing with our spunky Ellie. When I think of Jeff's dad, I imagine an older and wiser Jeff. I am sad that I never had the opportunity to meet this man that has greatly influenced my life. God rest you Papa Simpson!