My step-dad is now 90. The man I hated on my mom’s wedding day back in 1984, when I was the wise age of 15 is 90 today.
The man who taught me how to water ski by throwing me into the middle of Lake Washington at age 11, is now 90. The man who taught me how to snow ski by taking me into the back slopes where there were no ski lifts or rope tows, and had me do the herring bone back up the hill. No side step, herring bone, up a steep hill, is 90 today.
The man who my high school boyfriend witnessed, cut across all four lanes on I-5 without his blinker on or looking in his blind spot is now 90. The man who made strangers feel like it was Christmas is 90 today.
The man I told to fuck off a number of times in my teens is the same man who stole my mom’s heart and pioneered many Seattle homeless projects, ate Lutefisk on holidays and could only sit still for a good movie.
The very same man who could do anything no matter his age or the challenge fell from a ladder at the age of 86 and hasn’t been the same since. A ladder he was testing out for a 40 year old.
He gave with his entire heart. Bossed around with love. And loved Jesus more than anything.
He now sits in a wheelchair and still gives and gives and gives. Probably still loves Jesus and definitely makes strangers feel like it’s Christmas, this time the only present is his smile. He barely speaks but his eyes hold so many stories, wishes, dreams, ideas and so much love.
I would give anything to hear him boss me around just one more time instead of staring at me blankly. I know his brain is spinning a million things to say. I see his eyes sparkle and feel his soft skin grip my hand firmly. But it’s not the same as hearing him raise his voice over injustice or watching him hug a homeless man as he gently tells him about Jesus.