Friday, October 8, 2010

My stepfather died today.

At 2pm. I found out an hour ago.

I'm so churned up with feelings. Ralph was so good to us for so many years and we had a lot of good times. He also helped Mom to get us through some bad ones.

But after we lost her, and he believed his one daughter that I stole things, lied and... it doesn't matter. We settled things after awhile, but it was strained after that. In time that eased a bit; we'd see each other at family things or I'd be with my sister Cathi. But it wasn't the same. I didn't just go over there like I used to or call. And when I saw him or his kids, it was about how they lost Mom, how they were affected, never words for how was I and my family doing.

When he went into the hospital, I went with my sisters to see him. I prepared to see him ill, but I didn't expect how his face lit with joy when he saw me, the tear in his eye, the way he gripped my hand, never wanting to let me go.

I saw him several times in the hospital, always holding his hand, and when he was awake, making sure he heard me say I love him, that we all did, and that I knew he loved me and everyone in the family. And I'd kiss him when I left.

So now I hurt that he's gone, hurt for the good days we had, guilt that I didn't go to him when things were strained and fix that, and glad that I saw him to hold his hand, see him happy when he saw me.

I was going to scan the pictures of the two of us from my wedding, but the guilt is too much.

Goodbye, Ralph. I'm sorry.

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