First of all, let me state that I hate the word “step” when describing blended family members. I never considered myself a “step” anything as my mother’s current husband has always treated me as his own. My father died eight years ago. Five years ago, my mother remarried a lovely man, Elliott, whom I have known my whole life. A close friend of the family, it was a natural progression that these two would find each other after losing their respective spouses.
I am now the primary caregiver for my mother and Elliott as all the other siblings live in other states. Both are in assisted living, but I help with any problems that may arise. Recently, Elliott became very ill and in the process, as of today, has taken a turn for the worse. As all of his children scramble to get here, I took the opportunity to have some alone time with him. Not knowing how much longer he has, I wanted to make sure that he knew the impact he had on my life. I wanted to thank him for giving my mother the gift of a second love and companionship. Most of all, I wanted him to know that he is loved.
As I sat at his bedside, I held his hand in mine. I shared funny memories even though he wasn’t awake. Every once in a while he would squeeze my hand. His children have arrived and I have taken my place. My place is off to the side waiting for whatever decision is made. I have my opinions, but they have not been asked for and I respect their decisions. I trust that they will do what is best for him.
Grateful today that I have the strength and courage to lovingly and gracefully be at peace with his passing. He may die today or he may linger. All I know is that God’s timing is always perfect.