One of my very good friends told me the other day that my mom and step-dad’s story was one of her favorite love stories. We lost my step-dad last week, he had been battling cancer for quite a while and in the end, it took him in just a couple of weeks. While I will always miss him, I am glad that he is no longer suffering and will always remember that he was in our lives because “it was all my fault” (I’ll explain that in the story).
My mom and step dad (his name is Guy) met in High school, they dated and were actually engaged. He was a year older and graduated before mom. He joined the Air Force after graduation and my grandparents thought it would be better for my mom if they broke it off and that she move on, they didn’t want her to have the lonely life of a military wife. She had listened to her parents but had always regretted it.
For years she looked for Guy at reunions, asking everyone there if they had heard from him or knew where he was. No one knew where he was or what had become of him.
Fast forward to years later, mom had me and my brother, she had married and divorced twice. She had lost a fiance to a blood clot (he died quickly and suddenly) and was living in FL with a man that I really, really didn’t like. Actually let me revise that, it’s not that I didn’t like him, it’s that I didn’t like the way that he treated my mom and I didn’t think he was good for her. I knew that in order to get this parasite (yeah, he kind of was a parasite) away from my mom that I needed to find the love of her life.
I made it my mission to find Guy. And I did, I found him on Classmates.com. I paid for a temporary membership so that I could send him an e-mail and asked him to contact my mom. Now Guy was not technologically inclined, actually that’s an understatement. So he did not check his e-mail for a while. I think he got the message a couple of months after I sent it. Then he was scared, he thought mom was trying to reach him to tell him that I was his daughter, lol. He had no idea how old I was and was a little nervous about calling her. He finally did and was relieved to find out that it wasn’t to tell him that he had a daughter.
They talked repeatedly over the next couple of months. Guy had retired from the Air Force by then and was working as a trucker. The next time that he got a delivery to bring to FL he made sure that he and mom met up. The spark, the chemistry, whatever you would like to call it was still there. The love they had never died over those years.
They spent the next year with long conversations and visits when they could. Guy moved mom to TN and less than 9 months later they were married. They had the fairy tale wedding that they both wanted. Big dress, tux with tails, little chapel in the mountains of TN and a reception at the top of a mountain in a beautiful cabin. It was a small wedding, only our family and a few of mom’s siblings, a couple of nieces and a couple of in-laws, but it was what they wanted. And you could tell by the look in their eyes how much they loved each other. He was her world and she was his.
I remember in the days after the wedding Guy looking at mom while he was driving and him saying that he’s still amazed that she was there and now his wife. Of course my only thought at the time was “take your damn eyes off my mom and watch the rode before you kill us all” lol.
I am very thankful for the years that we had Guy in our lives. He would repeatedly tell me all the time (usually when I’d get annoyed at him for something) that “it was all your fault” meaning mine, because I had found him. He thought of me as his daughter, my brother as his son and my daughter as his granddaughter.
I will miss this man forever, he brought our family together, he brought joy to my mom. And though you could never watch a movie all the way through with him (he had to do a running commentary through the whole thing), and he loved to goad you into an argument (he loved to see how much he could wind me up), it was all part of the wonderful person that he was. I couldn’t have asked for a better match for my mom and a second dad.