My step-father died a week ago.
I can’t say that I wish he hadn’t; I can’t say I wish we had had more time together. To say that about someone who was facing a choice between dying slowly of prostate cancer in his bones, or dying slowly from suffocating to death from COPD/emphysema would be just plain cruel. In fact, he died apparently peacefully at the hospital. If I could ask him now, I’m sure he would tell me that’s what he wanted! He did tell me the week before, when we went to visit, “I am praying every day for God to take me home.”
Looking back at our 29 years together, I do have regrets. There were times that we had a very difficult relationship. I wish I could go back in time to the beginning and tell each of us some important things. Ah, that time-machine for regrets and if-onlys…..
But I am thankful that we were able to have a good relationship later on. In so many ways he wasn’t just the man who raised me, he was my father. You see so many things differently as an adult than as a child. I was able to understand how he loved me, and able to show him love. I am very grateful that God had me and the kids visit the weekend before he died, and for the time we were able to talk. And I will say it, I am glad that he is done with a life in which sickness and pain had stolen almost every shred of independence and dignity from him.
I know, this isn’t your standard eulogy…but I have always thought that to not acknowledge the truths of life and death is to be somewhat dishonest. For example, the goodness of my relationship with my stepfather would not have had its sweetness if we hadn’t struggled through the bad to reach it. And we did – and I will miss that, and him.