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A Tribute to my Stepfather

I keep starting this post over and over, trying to find the right words to say. It’s been a difficult morning, my head is pounding, and I feel pretty numb. I was originally going to keep this to my private social media for my friends and family. But Ed was very special to me. He was family. I feel at least part of his story should be out there.

I guess you could say I’ve been lucky to have both a stepfather and a stepmother in addition to my biological parents. They both found new love after their divorce and while that created hardships for the three of us in the beginning, I was always happy for my parents because I could see that they were happy with their partners.

Yesterday, I lost my stepfather. He was a strong man, who always knew how to make you laugh with his jokes and he was another person I could share my toilet humor with. I remember the many weekends I’d come over to spend with him and Mom and there were plenty of fart jokes between us. Yeah, we were that family and it was the best.

I remember him jamming out on his drums – he was damn good at that. Ed always told me how he used to be in a band when he was younger. It was the time of his life, playing drums every weekend. He never kept it a secret that he was popular with the ladies back then because he played drums. It makes me laugh when I think about the night I was over at their house for New Years and I woke him and Mom up right at midnight by banging on the drums as hard as I could.

I’m pretty sure I gave them a heart attack. It was worth it.

I remember all the different motorcycles he used to own, going from BMWs to Triumphs to Harleys. But no matter what motorcycle he rode, he rode those beasts with passion and he loved nothing more than to fly down the road with the throttle wide open and feel the wind whip at him. My family is full of motorcyclists and he was no exception. Going on the large group rides with him, my mom and our family of motorcyclists were something I always looked forward to. We had a blast on our bikes.

I remember Ed taking no shit from car and motorcycle salesmen. He’d challenge their hidden fees and the extras they’d try to sell or claim were “required” in the bill. To this day, it makes me laugh when I think about the time he was ready to throw the car salesman through a window because they tried to force us to buy Zaktek and said it was something they cannot remove. “NO ZAKTEK!” he screamed at him. It was hilarious. And yes, they took that Zaktek charge off.

I remember my mom telling me he had cancer as a teenager. I don’t know the exact year, but I know I was young. I feel like he had been battling it ever since I knew him and that was probably the case. The doctors had given him less than a year. Because it’s Ed, I know he said “Yeah right!” and he was determined to beat cancer. And he did survive past that date and continued to survive for, what, 10 years later? Time flies when you’re kicking cancer’s ass.

Ed was a dog person. I remember all the times that he loved on his Rat Terrier, Baby Doll. She loved me too but ultimately she ended up being Mom’s dog. She loved her most. And I remember when he brought home Harley, who’s still alive and kicking so far. They’re the two best dogs. Ed spoiled them all the time, giving them treats, taking them on walks twice a day, and just straight up loving on them. I won’t lie when I say it was an adorable sight, seeing man’s best friend and man bonding so tightly.

Steve and I were going to fly out and visit him next week for 4th of July, at Ed’s request after a recent scan. Cancer had taken over his liver, but the guy was a fighter. He kept going and we were sure he’d be able to survive this too.

Ed had an incredibly strong spirit, but unfortunately, his body couldn’t keep up with his strong will to live. I wasn’t able to say goodbye and I wish nothing more than to be able to rewind the clock and find a way to have visited sooner. I wish his body had been stronger so he could have lived another 20 years. I know he and mom were looking forward to attending my college graduation in December.

But I know he’s up there watching over me, over mom, over his brother and his son and grandson. I’m glad that his son Austin was able to visit him one last time and say goodbye. I’m glad my mom was there to take care of him all the way to the end. I am glad that he was surrounded by love in his last few days and I can find a small sense of relief knowing that he is no longer in pain. He’s with his Baby Doll again and he can ride free.

So ride free, Ed. I’ll see you on the other side.

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  • Reply Mom June 21, 2016 at 1:15 PM

    Beautifully said Mija. He loved you so much- you were his Babygirl.

  • Reply GuitarPro June 30, 2016 at 7:58 AM

    He s old. His heart is weak. He s not long for this earth. I m so very fortunate to have a step father who cares and loves me. Thanks to all the fathers out there, both biological and step, who teach a new generation how to be good men and women.

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