In June of 2015, our Mom remarried at 71 years of age. It took her all that time to find the right guy – her first marriage was a disaster. But her husband Elton is truly a wonderful, quirky, compassionate person. He’s the Dad we wish we had growing up. And so he’s the one we now claim as “Dad”. We’re taking the title away from our biological father. He doesn’t deserve it. Elton does.
This decision has actually been rattling around inside for some time. Almost everyone is onboard. Little Jimmy still idolizes his biological father to some extent, and thinks they’re twins. (Don’t ask us how that’s supposed to work?), but maybe someday he’ll see what the grown-ups see. That our biological father was an abusive asshole, and that Elton acts more like our Dad than anyone else ever has.
From this point on, any reference to “our father” refers to our biological father… but our Dad? That’s Elton. We may still refer to him as Step Dad to clear up confusion sometimes, but he’s Dad in our hearts.
This post was originally written almost three hours ago, as a personal piece from just one of us, who burst into tears writing it. Since then we’ve done the revolving door thing a bit, as this was quite an emotional and monumental shift. Some of us have called Elton “Dad” a few times before, trying it on…. but today, it just became clear. It’s just 100% who he is.
This isn’t to say that none of us love our biological father anymore. That’s not true (Saoirse: unfortunately ). That’s a complex ball of therapy fodder to be sure, and something we’ve struggled with for a long time. But we’ve cut our father out of our life for a reason, and we’re not letting him back in, even if he is dying of cancer. Maybe that’s cold, as is the fact that we won’t go to his funeral. But we’re done with him.
On the other hand, we know we can count on Elton to be there, to be kind, and to be loving. We couldn’t ask for a better Dad. It’s taken us almost 6 years to come around – we’re not a trusting bunch – but he’s earned our love and approval. Our Mom may have had to wait 71 years to find him, but it was worth it.
Love you Mom & Dad.