My stepfather, Jim, died suddenly on Saturday. He would have been 86 in July. Last Thursday he played golf with his sons. On Friday he transplanted some roses to make a space for the cannas that I had given them, then went to a group Bible study that evening. Saturday morning he got up and started mowing the lawn. He sat down to rest in the lawn chair and quietly passed away.
We had the funeral on Monday. Jim was well-loved and it was a packed house. We had congregational singing led by three of his grandsons, one of which was my son. The singing was nothing short of phenomenal and very uplifting.
Jim was buried in Oklahoma on Tuesday, but Tom and I didn't get to attend because we came down with what appears to be the flu.
My father died in 1972 when I was 12 and my mother married Jim two years later. He was a brave and generous man to take on four new children ranging in ages five to 18.