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Reflecting on the death of the man who wasn’t my blood whom I still consider “my dad” | Joe, Beloved Stepdad

The last time I saw him in a black suit was 1991 at my Aunt Reva’s funeral. She was my maternal grandmother’s eldest sister. At that time, Joe was part of our core family. For a long while, he took part in every joyous or sad occasion. I am sure Joe had on a similar black suit at his own funeral yesterday.

I did not attend. Was not invited by his people. My brothers, begotten of Joe, were apparently forgotten and probably not included in the obituary  headcount as his progeny. Not being invited to that celebration of life, or funeral, or whatever they chose to call it, is a deep injury to them and to me. But my brothers are not the type of men who will holler “We are his sons, too!” But as Joe aged, I always thought, I would be the one to take a special interest in forging our rights to call him our dad at his funeral. But when it was time for first-family-eldest-children-of Joe to bury him, the power of my assertion was non-existent. The reality of my dead step-daddy who did not instill in his first family of offspring, an immutable connection to his other family of offspring & stepchild... is equally hurtful. Now I will never be able to know his intention, but it hurts like hell to be left out by him and .. or meliciously, just them.

My brothers in their dignity made it easier for me to forgo hovering in black, during this intensely painful loss of our other parent. They have been benevolent and loving to safeguard our own personal dignity, since Joe did not or could not do it for us. We have our own lifetime stash of photos and anecdotes to make our own remembrance video.  And I take special pride in knowing his shaving cream brand and that he would never go barefooted, and that he instilled in me true rules of the road, as he is a retired long-haul truck driver. 

And to my Mother: I am grateful that she taught me to hold Joe in my consciousness as my Dad, too. She brought him here. From the time I first met him to right now, his spiritual presence was one of those best gifts from her. I felt empowered by the both of them together, and even as she outgrew him, I would never really feel fatherless.  [edited]

Read my previous post Profound Sadness - Stepdad Love.

 George Henry Beckham: July 26, 1933 to November 28, 2021. I just cannot believe it.


Anyone can teach you about love. I can make you good at it.

| Photo & Prose by Jackie D. Rockwell | All Rights Reserved © 2008-2021 |