‘ ” ” ” ” ” ” ‘‘ ‘‘ ” ” ” ‘is for Richard.
Though his name is Richard, he is called Dick. The husband of Mary, my former wife, Dick is not only family, he is a friend.
When they returned home following their wedding, Mary phoned me. “We aren’t doing a honeymoon,” she said, “because we want to go to Italy next year. Dick wants to do Tuscany.”
“That’s a great idea,” I said. “You’ll love Tuscany.”
“And,” Mary said, “we’d like you to go with us.”
“Why not,” I said, knowing she wanted me to plan their trip. “Haven’t I been on all you’re honeymoons?”
Another time, the three of us drove to Tucson to organize the celebration of Eleanore’s ninetieth birthday. We planned the party, set the menu, shopped for the groceries, cooked, served, and cleaned up. Pa watched in wonder as each of us carried out our assigned tasks like the cogs of a well-oiled machine. “You guys are amazing,” he said. “You need to be on television.”
Dick is the personification of the still waters run deep adage. Not still in terms of activity, but still in the sense of solid. Dick has solid values: loyalty, dependability, compassion, generosity of spirit. Above all, Dick values family.
Dick is extraordinarily generous and supportive of the large family Mary and he have created. Dick’s daughter and son and their families, Mary and my two daughters and their families, comprise a blended family in the truest sense.
If asked for a word to describe Dick, I would respond, “hospitality.” He loves to host a houseful of people, family or friends or a mixture of both. All are welcome and none go away hungry either for want of food, warmth of community, or in need of love.
Husband, father, grandfather, friend, patriarch, Dick is host to the whole host of a large and loving family.