Since 7th grade, you’ve called me yours. You adopted me as your own and told everyone I was your daughter. When I’d talk about you to others, I’d say you were one of my two dads. You were my bonus dad and one of my biggest supporters. You were my family. And family matters.
All the milestones
You’ve been at all the important events; the start of my marriage, the hospital when both my children were born, soooo many birthdays and holidays. I’m not ok with you missing all of them going forward. I wasn’t ok with you missing my birthday a week ago. And I’m not ok with missing you on all upcoming birthday and holiday celebrations. I’m not ok with it at all.
You were always the mediator
You have always been a peace keeper, encouraging me to create resolutions, to not hold onto anger, to cherish those I love, and to spend as much time as possible with the people I love. A constant refrain of yours has always been, “Why can’t we all get along?”
You were always my encourager
You’ve endured probably more of my tears than any other human, especially in the two hardest times of my life. At the end of high school and beginning of college when I was the main person talking a family member out of suicide on a regular basis, you were there for me. Telling me I was strong and it would be ok. In the two years leading up to my divorce, you encouraged me to do all the things to make it work. Again, you were telling me I was strong and it would be ok.
You were my guide
When I was in college and racking up credit card debt, you helped me get a job in corporate by passing along my retail and food industry resume. It was an entry level position in telecom, although I was the youngest, most inexperienced, and untenured member on the team. You encouraged me to work hard and do my best. Hard enough that my efforts and results would stop any talk of ageism (because 22 was pretty young and I looked way younger). It was the start of a fifteen year career in telecom. It was a career that led to my marriage and the start of many wonderful friendships over the years. You literally changed the trajectory of my life which led to many wonderful years and becoming a parent to two awesome human beings.
You were my teacher
In junior high, you’d write out papers upon papers of riddles and puzzles and games for me to figure out when I went on vacations. You’d ask all the questions, helping me figure out who I was, what I believed, and what I stood for. As an adult, you’d still ask all the questions, helping me figure out who I was, what I believed, and what I stood for. Although, the topics became more mature over the years as we discussed sex, drugs, parenting, and politics. While always finding common ground and common goals. Which ultimately boiled down to, “Be nice.” You were always one to listen without judgment and then ask questions that made me think more. You created a safe space that allowed me to grow into a better human.
You had this crazy love for stylish clothes and forward fashion. Many of your outfits made me scratch my head, wondering what you liked about them. Yet I loved that you were you, not conforming to the norms. Then when Luke was born, you became so wild about this human boy child you helped make. The two of you dressed alike every chance you got. From when he was a baby all the way up until a teen. You traveled the world with him and you sports’ed with him all around the United States, following the sports teams you loved and meeting up with friends who were family.
Words aren’t enough
You’ve touched the lives of so many people. For the good. For all these words I’ve written, they are horribly inadequate for expressing the magnitude of the hole you have left in my life. It is indeed a Martin sized hole. And I’m not ok with that. I’m not ok with that at all.
December 25, 1965 – November 20, 2021