Appreciating Don

I want to tell you about Don, a truly wonderful guy. A great example of his wonderfulness (if that isn’t a word, it should be) was the time he, his wife and his mother-in-law were coming home from an overseas trip. He dropped them off curbside at the departure terminal and went on to return the rental car. It was uber early and the place was still closed, so he threw the keys in the slot, left the car in the appointed spot, and shuttled back to the terminal.

The moment he stepped off the shuttle he realized that the luggage was still in the trunk of the car. Without making a fuss, he sent his wife and MIL on the original flight and bought a ticket on a much later flight so he could wait for the car rental place to open and fetch everyone’s luggage. This was typical Don. No matter what happened, he always took it with great humor and sweet spirit.

So Don just happens to be my father-in-law and he’s on my mind today (again) because he passed away last week – suddenly and unexpectedly. Which has made me think long and hard….Did he know how much I loved him? Did he know how I’d so love to have his patience and kind spirit? (I heard him yell once in 15 years – at his dog. I yell at my kids and our danged dog 10x a day!) Does he know that I’m going to teach my kids –his grandchildren — to be just like him?

Think about it. Do the people closest to you truly know how much you appreciate them? Are there any “wrongs” between you and a family member or close friend that you need to make right? If something were to happen to that person today, would you be at peace?

Don was a leader, volunteer and mentor in his community for over 50 years. A few weeks ago he and my mother-in-law came to visit. We created wonderful memories and I told him I loved him. Did he really understand how much? Did he know that I loved him as much as I loved my own father? Does he realize how much we will miss him? I hope so. I think so. I know so.

Pick up the phone today. Make time for those you love. Say you’re sorry. And don’t be shy with the “I love yous.”  It is not too late to appreciate. Rest in Peace, Papa Don.

Don Cashen


  1. pati thompson says:

    Oh, Christine .. that was just so beautiful! Thank you for writing it (I’ve already thanked Genie for sending it to me). You have the loveliest way with words, sweet girl! I still have the note you wrote me after your facial that I was able to do for you (because it is so dang special to my heart). I think you are incredibly amazing, and so appreciate knowing you! Sending love… pt

  2. Christine,

    I want to extend my deepest sympathy to you and your husband on the sudden passing of his father. I was fortunate enough to tell my dad goodbye when he passed away, as it was expected. Cannot imagine not being able to tell someone goodbye on an unexpected death. Please tell Gregg to always think about the great memories he and his dad shared together, and to continue being a wonderful dad to your children, just like his dad was to Gregg.

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