Death is a funny thing.I make that statement because it has consumed the life of our family for about four years now.We have had a lot of time to analyze it,be afraid of it,dread it,and finally long for it.Our wonderful brilliant stepdad finally made it a reality a few days ago and as usual he made it a learning experience for my sisters and me and we all agree even though we are so missing him already we will be eternally grateful for the experience.
I really hate calling Ward my stepdad because it doesn’t clarify what he was to my sisters and me.There are six of us and we all have had many experiences with STEP fathers and to put our Ward in the same category is almost unthinkable.Step is like wicked to me in the family department and he never was.We knew we weren’t his kids and I personally was glad we didn’t go down that road because I remember my dad and really didn’t need a replacement.I needed someone to replace the sourness in my heart from the men that where put in the stepfather position before him.What we got was a man that could teach us to trust again,to not be afraid for our mother,and to mentor us in the world of living right and he did that and more.I am proud to call him something more than stepfather,I call him friend.
Ward explained everything in detail to us and his death was no exception.He taught us to never give up hope and to live each day as an example to our children.He took the time to explain what would happen to his body as it began shutting down and even though at the time I didn’t want to hear it I am now glad that I listened.I am a Christian and I know where I am going after I die but the actual act of dying has always scared me and touching a dead body was out of the question.Ward changed that not just for me but for my sisters Linda and Loretta also.We hugged and kissed him in the middle of his ragged breathing and even after his death we laid quietly beside him.Thank you so much dear friend for teaching us even in your darkest hour.You not only took the fear of the unknown away from me but you gave me back the same love I had for my sisters when we were growing up afraid.My aching heart has mended.As I know yours is my soul is also at peace.
We laughed and we cried and it now reminds me of just how witty you were.I remember when you were first diagnosed and then came over to talk to us about it.You said maybe we should just call Luke’s and order the potato salad and I was amazed how you could laugh about your own funeral dinner.Mom looked at me and just shook her white head……………and smiled.
I want you to know we will continue to do as you wanted us to.We have always been your work horses and we won’t let you down Our aim is to make you proud and to try to repay you in some small way for the wisdom and guidance you gave us all.We did it for love not for money.
Oh and if you are by chance stopping your conversation with your brother Larry right now we want you to know —————-the potato salad was good.