I try to keep this blog upbeat and humorous. I was trying to write something this morning to make you laugh but my heart just isn't into it right now. I'm sad because a family I love is sad. The Mathews family is actually Debbie's sister's in-laws. They have seemed like family to us though since the mid-seventies when we first met CG and Jenna Mathews. They are the parents of my brother-in-law Thomas Mathews. I consider Thomas one of my best friends. We decided years ago to be "brothers-in-law" even though according to the official rule makers we weren't. Thomas was Debbie's brother-in-law, not mine.
When we met the Mathews our boys were little. Thomas and his soon to be wife Katrina often babysat for us since we needed free babysitters and they needed a comfortable place to make out. One Christmas CG and Jenna brought presents for our boys! They gave them cowboy hats and cap guns. We were touched by this and saw the kindness of this wonderful couple then and over and over again throughout the years. We always felt completely welcome in their home and we always welcomed them into ours.
I won't go into a lot of detail about CG. I'll leave that to those who knew him best. His three sons can talk for hours about what they learned from this gentle man. I'll just say a few words. CG had a quiet wit that never changed, no matter the situation. He was always calm and knew just what to say. He loved his family and especially his grandchildren. They dearly loved him in return. He worked all his life and right up to a few weeks before his death. His work ethic was an example I tried to follow...but failed at miserably. He always loved his work. I somehow never grasped that blessing. As far as I know his sons share that trait even though I know Thomas' work is especially taxing. My parents spent their last ten years in a house owned by CG and Jenna. My parents had sold the house we grew up in thinking they were ready for a retirement community. They discovered living with "old people" was depressing so CG offered them a beautiful place under the oak trees in south Hurst. They loved living there and CG always kept tabs on them assuring their safety and comfort. Despite tremendous growth in home values in this area over the years he never changed their monthly rental rate. He had offers to sell the house but refused to do so while my parents lived there.
Although I know CG is resting without pain in a much better place right now the lump in my throat doesn't seem to go away. I hurt for Thomas and Kat for their loss. I hurt for Jenna, Steve, Kent, and all the family. Most of all I hurt for the grandchildren. Leigh, Kat's oldest daughter, said it best on a notice she posted on Facebook, "CG always said, 'I'm glad you got to see me'....and I was".
Rest in peace Mr. Mathews...