Friday, January 2, 2009

January's Journal Challenge Day 2

Milton J. "Mick" Holman

Starting the new year off with a funeral could be considered a bad omen, but then maybe not. When someone struggles just to breath an ending can be a new beginning for all involved. My step dad's funeral was today. Well he "was" my step dad. Mom and Mick were married for 10 years. They helped each other finish raising their youngest children. Mick was a widower with a handicapped child and mom a divorcee with three children at home. My youngest brother and sister never really knew their father, which was good but that's another story. Mick became their dad, he earned their respect and loyalty. He was there for them through their preteen and teen years when they needed him most I think. My mother needed him too, they needed each other. Then one day mom just left. He helped her and they remained friends. We all kept in touch. Just because they divorced didn't mean our feelings changed, he was still "dad" to my siblings. Over the years life got more complicated, more involved, for all of us. There were graduations and marriages and more children born into the families. Sometimes in divorce the "steps" are no longer considered family by some. Mick wasn't like that. He attended weddings and graduations and sent or called with well wishes. He was always willing to lend an ear or a hand to mom, me or my siblings. I loved seeing him and his youngest son at the store or out on the lawn when I drove by. He may have been handicapped and at times unruly, but Kevin was also a sweetheart and quick to give a mighty hug and a great big smile.

The obituary made no mention of a second wife or stepchildren. It hurt...I was surprised at how much it hurt. Not being acknowledged, them, my mom and siblings, not being acknowledged at all. As if those ten years and time since had never happened. When you've known someone for so long and come to grow to call him "dad" and proudly, well sometimes steps can become more than just friends. I sat with a group of my family (mom, brothers, aunts) at the funeral. We all knew Mick would want us to come and say goodbye. I only got to know him the last couple years of their marriage before they divorced. This kind and generous man took me and my girls into his home at a time when we were distraught. I must admit it, I had a breakdown, so many nightmares, those girls were so scared even of their mommy. He knew there were hurts to heal and a lot of adjustments to be made. He knew and he said welcome home. He called my youngest, the shy scared one, Peanut. He teased her and comforted her and showered her with love. He made her feel at ease with family she'd never known before, he made her feel at home.

And now he's gone home....As Kevin said, "He's with mommy now." Goodbye "DAD" - Till we meet again and just incase I hadn't said it often enough, thank you for everything. You will be missed.................


Today was also my youngest daughter's birthday, Happy Birthday Honey, I Love You!

And one last thing. I challenge you this year to reconnect with those loved ones that you've not had time for lately. The "steps" and the distant relatives, the greats and the great-greats. The nieces and nephews that grew up knowing you as an Aunt or Uncle. If divorce has separated the family remember you divorced your spouse, not necessarily the whole family. Call them and tell them how much they mean to you, hug them, love them, NOW, before it is too late!


lori vliegen said...

i am so sorry, tess, for your loss. it sounds like Mick was a wonderful man, father and friend to you and your family. thank you for sharing your memories with us...i know it's difficult. and thank you for your encouragement to call those who are in our hearts, but we haven't connected with in a while.

you're in my prayers, sweet tess.

misty said...

i am sorry, too. i wish much peace for you and all those that Mick called family and friend.
i do hope you keep journaling, it is always such a wonderful way to express our feelings.
take care.