I haven’t know him that many years. In fact, only 17 years and even those were somewhat sporadic given geographic location and life situation.
My step-father passed away on Thursday, March 27th. The call came when sis and I were out and about enjoying some lovely bonding time during my weeklong visit to Northern Virginia. The news was not altogether unexpected; his health had been declining in recent months and we felt certain that something would happen this year. Still, we were in shock. Sis immediately burst into tears. I did not. This wasn’t due to lack of love, I can assure you. We all process grief differently. I knew mine would come and it did though not quite the way I expected. But that’s the funny thing about life. There is, for the most part, no one sure thing about anything. Tsunamis or gentle waves…up and down…right and left…dark and light…and everything in-between…..there are seemingly endless variations on a theme to the emotions that lie within each of us. Understanding them, managing them, accepting them….learning from them….and continuing on because of, and in spite of, them….it’s all part of the journey.
Now begins the next challenge and a huge one it is for all of us. My head is exploding just thinking about what has to be done, the changes that must be made….the sacrifices. In short, there is a great deal of work that lies ahead.
I know the days, weeks and months ahead will be a hell of a roller-coaster ride and I know too that the only way to get through it will be one day at a time, one foot in front of the other and one, deep full breath at a time.
In the meantime, I will always remember my step-father with fondness and love. He was at times an impossible curmudgeon, but he was also a teddy bear at heart. He loved to travel and he was a gourmand at heart (though not given terribly to excess) and, of course it follows that he was an excellent chef. The delicious meals he lovingly prepared for us will always make me smile (and my mouth water). He loved working in his garden and tending to the flocks of quail that landed on the large “bird patio” he had constructed for them. His life’s work was architecture; designing and building beautiful structures and furniture. When I met him, he had long since retired as an architect but, never one to let moss grow under his feet, he kept busy on projects in his hobby room.
We are going to miss our teddy bear but our hearts feel lighter knowing that he is out of pain and peacefully, eternally resting.
He is for us now another angel in heaven.