Father figure

June 14, 2008 at 1:24 PM (Uncategorized) (, )

Funny, I don’t see him as a father.  But I do see him as a close friend.

My stepfather was born in Germany during WWII.  His father died early in the war, (Luftwaffe, I believe) and his mother lived to an extreme and comfortable old age in a small town, where, until very near her death in her nineties rumor has it, she walked down the hill for her groceries.

He is something I never thought to have, in a father’s space. A balanced, calm, even tempered guy, with a talent for making and fixing things and a truly sunny disposition.

He’s been so good for my Mother.  When she would have a concern about work, about home, about a vacation, something that in her experience needed to be planned down to the last detail, he would help, but help in such a way as to ease her concern, not inflame it.

I like his kids, they’re fine with me, but we see each other rarely, and don’t behave like siblings.

I was grown up and married myself when he married Mom, so that’s why we’re friends, I think, rather than any kind of father and daughter.  One son made me an entertainment storage shelving set, from scratch, as a Christmas present one year.  It’s the only piece of my present furniture that I actually give a damn about, and would take great care with, should I move again.  His grandson was a baby when last I saw him, joyful and curious about the way I walked…”Do it again!”

My stepfather is the  the only other left of center political person in my family, cheerfully unruffled about that and not at all intimidated to engage in civilised but straightforward debate with the family of good hardworking, immovably rightward people he married into.  When I found this out, it was a great relief,  another thing for us to discuss and bond over; he enjoys the same news program that I do every night.

I miss him as much as the rest of my relations, and he’s one of the reasons that if my life allowed me to move back to Ohio, I might just do that. I wish I could be of more help to him and my Mom than I’m able to be right now…but  I cannot be the able grown adult who handles some of life’s tougher moments for aging parents.   I can be of help mentally speaking, and when I’m feeling up to it, do as much as I can.

I figure he’s gardening today, watching out for the (too many) deer and other animals that have become his neighbors.

I’ll wish him happy father’s day tomorow, grateful for the  ‘happy’ part more than anything else.


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