my step dad over came a lot of hurdles. he had a budding drinking problem when he married my mom, which bloomed into full blown hard alcoholism that lasted the duration of twenty  of the thirty five years they were married. his daughter, the oldest of his five children from his first marriage, was very bitter over the divorce of her parents, and the remarriage of her father. she did what she could to torment me, and challenge her father’s authority. that put him in a way harder spot than i understood at the time. after she married and had children, she came by less and less often, until she didn’t come by at all. i wasn’t an easy step child to handle either. i had my own demons, and while i lived under his roof, i rebelled all the time. till i ran away. their marriage was strained by this, as well as by the growing alcoholism of his oldest son, the second of the five.
never the less, the marriage held. by grace alone, oft times.
in 1990 he was finally arrested for driving under the influence, and almost hitting a pedestrian. the court put him on anabuse (sp?), a drug one has to take in front of the pharmacist by court order, which makes one violently ill if even deoderant with alcohol in it is used. drinking is out of the question. after all this humiliation, AA meetings where he had to admit his problem and face his demons, and the ordeal of drying out, he finally became a person again.
the person he became was a warm, tender hearted man with a sense of humor. he was attentive to my mother, quiet in the face of insult, and very handy around the house. he didnt turn into the perfect man, but he did regain his humanity.
in the end, when he became ill, he faced it bravely, and never lost his ability to laugh.
the best part of the story is that just days before he died, he finally received Jesus as his Lord and savior, and called on His Name to be saved.
now he’s waiting in heaven for the rest of us.
see ya soon, dad.
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