My biological father and mother divorced when I was about 3 years old. My mother remarried when I was 8 years old. My father was not interested in being active in our lives, so my step-father was more of a dad to me than my self-centered biological one was.
My step-dad wasn’t the best at showing his emotions or feelings. But he got it across to my sister and I the best he could. Looking back , I am in awe that he took on a stay-at-home mom on welfare, with 3 kids. He provided for all of us.
When he became comfortable, almost desperate, to share how much he loved us, unfortunately was shortly before he passed away.
But by that time, I had already learned how to build up my walls.
I was one of the first and last to touch him after he stopped breathing. In fact, when I squeezed his hand in hopes of feeling his squeeze back, his body involuntarily took in a breath from the oxygen tank, which was turned up to full blast. I truly thought he had come back to life. My family, behind me, knew better, and had to take a few minutes to convince me. That was the start of the popping of my optimistic bubble.
This is a poem I wrote 2 years later when I was a senior in high school. I rarely shared my personal life and emotions with classmates, but for some reason I did. Here it is, polished up just a bit.
It was dark
I took his hand
My pressure to his lifeless palm
He was now free
But not for this ugly world.
The clear tube hung down
It had done its job.
It was now useless
As were my tears and pleas
As was his once labored breath.