The Death of a Stranger

My father-in-law died in late March.

Sugar has reminded me in the past that I should be saying “EX-father-in-law. I then remind him that I didn’t divorce my in-laws, since they are not the ones who committed adultery, drained the college fund and other accounts, and walked away.

But I digress. As much fun as it would be to talk about all that, I digress.

My mother-in-law died in 2006. My father-in-law turned into a grumpy, bitter old man over the next several years. He thought he should have gone first, and he should have. Hereditary heart issues should have taken him out years ago, but medical advances saved his life several times.

He eventually remarried, and he changed yet again. He was happy. Plus Viagra. I mean, really, Granddad? Please put your medicine bottles away when your grandchildren are visiting.

Perhaps he was bragging.


So my FIL is deceased, and my little BIL, the executor, asks me to write the obituary, because I know the most about the early years, and then my FIL’s best friend will write about the later years. I write the most slam-bang genealogical obituary you have ever had the courage to read. I might have even included the dog and the cat. I certainly included myself, but I rearranged the traditional order. I listed my FIL’s children without spouses tagged directly to their name. Then I had a list of my FIL’s children’s spouses. I was at the head of the list, and Mr X’s “wife” was not, since technically she never divorced her husband in Argentina. (By her own admission at the deposition, folks, ’cause truth is stranger than fiction.)  I also listed my SIL who died of cancer in 2012, and my FIL’s parents and in-laws and siblings and grandchildren.


The obituary was published. (Insert drumroll.)

I wasn’t listed. My SIL wasn’t listed. My FIL’s in-laws weren’t listed. Apparently we’re all dead.

Oh, wait. I’m not.



3 Responses to “The Death of a Stranger”

  1. Judith Richards Shubert Says:

    Doesn’t that just frost you?? Of all the nerve – someone did some editing, it looks like!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Libby Says:

    My inlaws proved that blood is thicker than water when they sided with their “cheatin” son. She had the nerve to call me when the f-i-l died and tell me I was invited to the funeral. I thanked her and didn’t go. No one invited me to her funeral. Guess what, I didn’t go. She was particularly hateful to me. If I was dead to them, so be it. It was their loss. In your case, Ruth, it was their loss, too! Your ex was the Editor. So what? Life goes on. We are better today!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ruth Rawls Says:

      Strangely, Libby, Mr. X’s parents cut him out of the will. I was the one that was invited for holidays and birthdays. They were done with him. They were my biggest fans.
      Things changed after my FIL remarried. He changed his phone number and his email, then dropped off my radar. I was a square peg, and my history was erased.


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