I Don’t Know How to Say Goodbye to You

Yesterday someone I used to know passed away. 20 years ago he was almost my stepfather.

I try not to talk about my family’s lives here. Sometimes I may mention in passing how some of their choices have affected me but I try to not cross the line of discussing their business here. Who likes to wake up and read on someone else’s blog your business? No one. So I do my best to keep it to myself.

But this person had a big impact on me as a young teen. He was the person that first loaned me Pink Floyd’s The Wall. He was the first person I knew who read sci-fi seriously. He thought space travel was a must. He liked to put his car in neutral when he was going down steep hills. I know this because he helped to teach me to drive. He lived on chocolate chip cookies and milk. He liked to cruise the lake on his party barge and take us with him. He jingled the change in his pockets when he was standing around talking.

He never seemed to mind that my mom came with the Misty Attachment. Even at 15, I thought my mom’s boyfriend was pretty cool.

He and my mom broke up before I got to high school. I was more angry at his leaving than at my own father’s departure because it was abrupt and unexplained. It took me until well into college to let that anger go and stop hating him.

Five years ago my mom met him accidentally at a funeral. They corresponded and after a period of time, got back together. They were together for almost a year and I thought that maybe he had changed his ways, that maybe he was different, better. When my mom told me they were breaking up for good I was shocked all over again and saddened for her. After they parted, she told me some of the things he had done and said to her and my old anger toward him returned.

Today I don’t know how I feel. I am sad for my mom, of course. She is taking it hard and the memorial this weekend will be very hard for her. I am struggling with a load of anger towards him still. Anger at him for his failings and my unwillingness to forgive him for them. I hate that we could have had a family together and he chose not to be a part of that. And yet ever with all of this anger, I am sad that he is gone.

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