November 6, 2014 7 Comments
I was seventeen years old when my mom met the man I call, Dad. They married in 1999. He was a bachelor and had always lived alone. He had one dog and no children. He married my mom knowing four kids ranging in age from 17-9 years would be under the same roof. I always wondered why people who marry others with children are labeled ‘step’ parents but it makes sense. They step in. They step right up to fulfill a missing role by choice. He chose us.
He guarded us like his own. He didn’t try too hard he was just there..present, willing…he wanted a family. He paid for braces, music and sport lessons. We went to Beaufort and Dataw Island in the summer. He taught my brothers about motorcycles. He took walks with us when we were mad at mom. He was a genuinely kind person but most importantly he loved our mother. We’d joke about how he’d be out of the car before the engine stopped just to open the door for her (He really did. Every time.) No matter our difficulties he reminded us to respect her and of how much she loved us.
My parents started a company together not long after they married. They built it from the ground up and it excelled. I went to work for them assisting him in the office. He was Poppy to my children and my sisters children. We had big holiday dinners and picnics by the lake. He designed a pool in their backyard for the grandkids and so we all had a center point to gather. He played baseball in the driveway and signed birthday cards with love. He went to school programs and hung pictures of everyone in his office. He was loved dearly and his love was returned ten fold to each and every one of us.
I miss him. I miss how he was with my mom. I miss him for her. I miss him for my kids. I miss how we all used to be and how settled and safe things were. Everything is changed and we are all struggling to accept our new life without him. It’s so very hard. But we will slowly step up and choose to honor him with beautiful memories and be grateful for the time we had with him.