Johanna Kirsch Wilson '10 | January 24, 2019
You hate my father-in-law.
I hate to say it, but it’s true. All those days you were offering me thoughts and prayers and holding my family in your virtual arms as we worked through his illness and death, you were hating him too. You didn’t know it, because you didn’t know him; you know me, and that was good enough for you. And I appreciate that. I truly do. The love and support of the internet communities around me have been invaluable to me throughout my adult life, and these most difficult times are no different.
But it’s true. And how do I know it’s true? Because I’ve seen what you say about him. I’ve seen the vitriol you level at him whenever he does, well, anything. Pontificates. Votes. Has opinions. Dismisses the opinion of those around him. Walks down the street wearing political attire. You’re really not a fan, to put it mildly, of anything about him. You sent your love to me, but even as he took his dying breaths you were hating him, and I think you should know that.
How do I know that?
Let me tell you about my father-in-law.
My father-in-law was born in 1946, a true baby boomer whose father had just returned home from WWII. He fought in Vietnam in 1968 and bought a Corvette when he returned that he lovingly maintained until the end of his life. He served in the Army for 23 years, and when he retired he took various Department of Defense contractor jobs with some of the biggest names in the business. He lived a comfortable white suburban life, leading booster clubs, filming every one of his sons’ sports competitions, going to the beach every summer. In retirement he played golf twice a week and spent the rest of the time renovating his house. He ran twice for state congress and was a diehard Republican. He was the head of his household in every respect except the rearing of children. He was rich. He was important within his circles. In his dying days, he wanted to watch Fox News.
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