I didn't realize it had been nine years, but today is the ninth anniversary of the passing of my father-in-law, John Kelly. One of the great regrets of my life is not getting to know him better. A little back story first. John Kelly is my wife's dad and he was a truck driver much of his life. One other thing to know about John is he is tall. And, I'm not. So imagine meeting your father-in-law-to-be for the first time (which is intimidating for a guy in the best circumstances)...looking up (literally) at John was like standing underneath the Empire State Building.

John Kelly, his wife Nancey and my now wife Angie when she was one-week-old.

Despite my initial fear of meeting my wife's dad who had to brush the clouds and tree branches away from his ears due to his height, turned out he was a very sweet, kind man.  I don't think I've ever known a man who was more loved by his family...and John has a big family.

My wife Angie and her dad.

When I mention to people that John was a "mountain" of a man, I'm actually not talking about height. He was a mountain of a guy when it comes to heart and the huge amount of people that he cared for and those that loved him back.

John passed away on November 9, 2003. The good news is that he's in Heaven now and having a better day than any of us who were left behind. I wish I had not been such a big chicken when he was on Earth, but I do look forward to seeing him again someday soon.