Today is my Stepfather's birthday. He would have been 93. He died at the age of 54, two years older than I am now, from a massive heart attack right in front of me. I was 13 years old at the time, and the thirteen year old me took about five years to recover from his loss, and the trauma of that night. My parents divorced when I was about three and a year later, this tall, blond, blue eyed mustached marvel of a man entered my life and effortlessly took over the role that my dead beat biological father vacated.
He was my “dad” for about 8 years of my life, and a better role model I could not have asked for. He was a romantic, and I watched him and learned how to treat a woman like a lady. He would wake my mother in the wee hours and whisk her away to watch the sunrise on the beach with a picnic breakfast. He was an excellent cook, and maybe it is from watching him that I got my leanings towards being a chef. He was also a fighter. He was a type one diabetic and took insulin shots every day, but I never once heard him complain or talk about it. I only found out he was diabetic when he got a huge suitcase of sugar free chocolates as a gift from his aunt. I was excited, but would soon learn that sugar free chocolates in the early 70s were disgusting.
I still think about him a lot. He was the funniest man I knew, and a supreme practical joker. I got so much of my personality from him. I still do miss him a lot, and I wish he were still around to talk to in person. I know that he is proud of the man I have become, and I have him to thank for that. Happy birthday dad. I miss you and I love you.