I remember the day I asked Arthur if I could call him dad. My own father had passed and since I didn't call anyone dad anymore, I asked him if he would be ok with that. I believe up until this point I had spent the entire time I'd known him (since I was 13yrs old) calling him Mr. Pelland haha. He said absolutely, I'd like that. And I was grateful. I remember when we told him that we were calling my oldest son Nathan Arthur. He grinned from ear to ear and teared up. He was so proud. I'll never forget the first time Joe and I took my father-in-law out to lunch. He held doors for me, wouldn't sit until I did, and waited for me to order before placing his order. He was a true gentleman. These are all things Joe has always done since we were kids. I always thought it was so old fashion but so incredibly sweet. I saw that day - after we had already known each other 20+ years and been married; that it was his dad who taught him that. You don't find that anymore.
Arthur was always a quiet and gentle guy. After Joe's mom died he opened up quite a bit in those first days of her absence. He told us some stories! And what a story teller!! I could listen to him share stories of being in the military and traveling for days on end. I had no idea he was so funny!! My favorite thing about Joe is how he can always make me laugh. I got to see where he got it from.
I watch Joe as a father to our 3 children. I see that the stories he shared of how his father parented him have influenced the amazing dad he is to our babies.
Arthur was so loyal and so in love with his wife. She was a hard woman to love. But oh, did he adore her!! I myself am not an easy woman to love at times. But Joe has stuck by me and has loved me in all my forms - good, bad and ugly! Arthur had such a hand in shaping the husband and father Joe is. My life is so much richer and more full and happier because of who he was. I am sad that his time on this side of the Gate is over. I am so full of gratitude that I had the privilege to know him. I'm so grateful that after an up and down battle with stomach cancer, he fell asleep and doesn't have to wake up in pain. I'll sleep peacefully tonight in the knowledge that he is reunited with his wife who I know he missed so dearly for the last 11 years. Thank you Arthur, for the things I've written about and for so much more. I love you Dad.