My mom’s husband died in an accident last week. People ask “so he’s your stepdad?” and the answer is “not really.” They got married when I was nineteen, so he wasn’t so much of a father figure as he was a companion for my mother. But he was Pappy to my kids. Being three (sometimes four) hours away, we didn’t get to see them as much as we’d liked. And when we did see them, of course the visits were too short. We’d just had dinner with them at my sister’s house a few short days before the accident.
Pappy’s youngest daughter gave a very moving tribute to him during the funeral service. This past weekend I saw a family devastated by tragedy celebrating the life of their patriarch. It’s funny how everybody in the family (myself included) has their own impersonation of his booming voice. I can honestly say that if I’m as beloved by my family at age 75 as he was I’ll be a very happy man.