Not long after my mother died nearly 5 years ago, the oddest thought popped into my head: Oh, my, I'm an orphan now.
What makes it odd is that I'm not an orphan. Well, not exactly. Because I have an "other" mother and a "father-no-papers." Their names are Kay and Ron. And I adore them.
Kay was the last wife my Daddy ever had. I wasn't thrilled when he remarried (I was in college at the time) and I was sure I'd behaved downright rudely to Kay, but she swears I never did. I still think I was brat, but Kay sees the good in people and lets the rest go. It's one of the many many things I love about her.
Several summesr ago, Kay and Ron came up to Minnesota to soak up some North Shore (of Lake Superior) goodness. Among the many wonderful things that happened during that short visit, one that sticks with me is that I realized I adored Ron and really wanted him "adopt" me. So I asked him. And he took my request "under consideration." On the last day of their visit, Ron told me that he had decided to say yes to my request. So he's officially (no papers, though) my "other" father.
That's how I came to have a "stepmother" and "stepfather" who are married to each other. On June 1, they'll celebrate 20 years of marriage. Theirs is a relationship I watch carefully. It's hard to take my eyes off them, they're so beautiful.
Kay is probably more like me than anyone else in my family. She jumps at the chance to go on an adventure, likes big dogs, prefers clothes from outfitters like REI to dress-up attire, wears Keens, is attracted to ethnic jewelry, has a fierce streak of independence, and is an outdoor girl (she even came up to Minnesota from Austin, TX, to go kayaking with me). I also love her Georgia accent, something I wish I had.
And Ron, well, it's just hard to put into words the kind of man he is. Awesome comes to mind. Loving, smart, compassionate, witty, present, respectful, generous, kind-hearted, principled, honest, and courageous are a few others.
He's had a run of of bad luck on the health front of late. And right now he's in the hospital, beating back some pretty serious stuff. I want him out of that place in the worst possible way. I want him home, stirring his compost pile, experimenting in his garden, doing biostatistics, going to marshall arts class with Kay, eating breakfast tacos at his favorite Mexican restaurants, building schools and clinics in Mexico, watching birds from his big bed first thing in the morning, eating yummy chocolate ice cream, and pretending he's retired. I wish it were up to me. But these things happen in God's time, not mine.
So for now, I'm going to look at some pictures of Kay and Ron and their garden and beam some love and healing thoughts their way. Please feel free to join me.
Native plants in the front yard (wish I could remember the name!)
Grasses, a perennial favorite of mine
Kay and the fountain she built (check out the Keens!)
My hero, my father-no-papers
Blessings on you Kay and Ron!