Thursday, January 27, 2011

Hard Times


Just when I was actually doing better than I have in a long time in keeping up here, I got the wind knocked right out of me. My stepfather, Stub, died a few weeks ago. It was something I saw coming in the weeks before, but really it all happened so fast. In September he was sitting in my kitchen eating the salsa I'd made and laughing with me over this and that. Then in the following months he lost his ability to drive, then walk, and even, in the very end, his ability to talk.

I know that death is a part of life. I also believe that he has gone to a better place where he can again do all those things that he'd been unable to during his last days on earth. I know that it's only those who have been left behind that are having a hard time with this. But it's still difficult nonetheless to realize that I can't just pick up the phone and get him on the other side of it anymore.

I have to remember though that I truly have been blessed to have him be a part of my life. In fact, I've come to realize while reflecting on all of this that I've been twice blessed in such a way. You see, my biological father was never a part of my life. The first man I called "Daddy" was my sister's father. He had the most beautiful heart and opened his arms to me when I was just a baby. Despite his turbulent relationship with my mother he always kept his arms open to me, as if I really were his natural daughter. He was an alcoholic though, and didn't care as much for himself as he did for his children. He died almost exactly 15 years ago. He was the fun one. Easy-going to a fault and open-hearted to the end. He was what I needed as a young girl to feel wanted, loved and accepted.

I wrote this for him: Forgive Me, Daddy

And then there was Stub. He was opposite in nearly every way. With the exception of whole-heartedly accepting another man's child as his own. He was responsible, hard-working, stable...he was a rock. He helped to show me what a father's role was. He helped to guide me the right way on the path to womanhood.

I wrote these for him: Shadow Of a Man and Mourning a Loved-One's Passing

Both these men filled a role I needed at the time I most needed it. Both have inspired me in different ways. Both are gone now. I am now truly without a father. But I can't leave it at that. It would devalue the lasting impression they've left with me. I have to think of the immeasurable gifts they gave me before they left this world.

I hope I haven't confused you all with my rambling thoughts here. My history is hard to follow, I know, but it has shaped me to be who I am today--and so I can't say that I'd change it. Everything happens for a reason. And I guess it's time I remember that and do my best to move forward.