November 18, 2005

"What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us; what we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal." - Albert Pike

Raymond P. Waananen 1949-2005

My father-in-law passed away over Labor Day weekend from cancer after battling it for almost a year. I've been afraid to post since then because I was am afraid that I won't be able to do it justice.

Ray had a very gruff demeanor, which was always intimidating. But once you got past that, you realized that there wasn't anything that he wouldn't do for you. If there was anything around the house that I needed help with or advice on, I knew Ray would be there.

My mother-in-law used to watch the girls for us while we were working and when she first started watching Ryan, I was worried about how Ray would feel with her in the house for most of the day. He worked nights so he slept during the days and babies have a tendency to be loud at the worst times. But early on it was obvious that Ryan, and then Jillian after she was born, had him wrapped around their fingers (as am I) and that he loved them. And that they loved him very much also.

If I ever have to go through what Ray had to go through, I hope that I can be as strong willed as he was. There were times in the last year that he would be in the hospital one day and out camping the next (though that sometimes wasn't the brightest thing to do). He continued to live his life on his terms. We will miss you.