My birthday shared with my stepdad's "moving up" day...
Saturday, April 29, 2017
Yesterday I celebrated my 62nd birthday. I woke to a beautiful, sunny spring day. I felt happy, as I usually do on my birthday. I also woke feeling very quiet and still inside, my heart and mind in a distant Florida hospital with my stepdad, Paul, my Mom and 2 siblings who were at his bedside. I knew he was beginning to leave us, to leave this world.
The night before, I'd felt that awareness growing and thought, "please don't die on my birthday, Paulie." But by the time I woke up it was alright. I knew he was ready - He'd been ready for awhile I think. I was leaving for the RPO concert when I got the news. Paul loved Harry Potter and Indiana Jones and Star Wars...the concert was all film scores by John Williams scored all those favorites of Dad's and more. It was so fitting, to be immersed in lush, vibrant music as I let my heart and memories of him flow freely.
Paul brought a real strength and caring into our family that we sorely needed after a very abusive predecessor. He was a friend of Bill W by the time I met him, so I got to skip over his darker times. He was a father to me without the burden of baggage I guess most parents have to sort out with their kids.
Paul was a modest and unassuming man, definitely underestimating how many people looked up to him, leaned on him. He could be blunt and opinionated, politically incorrect at times - but I could and did tell him anything and everything that weighed heavily on me. He always listened without criticizing or judging me. He kept my confidences. I felt safe with him. I loved his twisted sense of humor. We shared a love for gin rummy and dominoes, pinochle and Escalera... and we shared a passion for reading fiction.
I'm grateful for Paul's presence in my life. Rest In Peace, Dad.