I just found out earlier today that one of the greatest men I have ever known passed away. Technically he was my Step-Dad, but honestly he was so, so much more to me than that. He was the man that stepped in and stepped up to being my 2nd Dad after my own passed away when I was 7. He was the one that taught me to be the kind of person I wanted to be. Someone who stands up for what they believe, to stand up and support your friends and family. The person that taught me to always do the right thing, not just when people are watching, but especially when people aren't. He was the kind of person who enriched the lives of people by just being in theirs.
He was the person I always measured myself up to when I became a Step-Dad of my own, and then when I had my own girls. He was my constant, and was always there for me. No matter how stupid the thing I did was, and trust me I could do some spectacularly stupid things in my youth, he never waivered. One of m fondest memories was the night my oldest daughter was born, she was a premie but healthy and when I got to carry her from L&D to the nursery he was waiting outside. I got to place my minutes old, 5lb 3oz baby girl in her grandfathers arms, there was no step in that moment.
Years later when I started loosing my gender battle my ex outed me to him before I had a chance to talk to him in person, then it still didn't matter he still accepted and embraced me. When I finally got to have a face to face with him and we were finished before I left he hugged me and told me, "I love you son... I guess that should be daughter now right?" This was from a 84 year old retired Army Colonial, who loved me unconditionally.
I will love, miss, and always look up to the man for the rest of my life, and will hope that someday I can live up to being the kind of person he showed me how to be.
The world has definitely grown a bit darker, especially for my family and myself. My heart hurts so much at the moment.
Much peace and love to you all, never forget to hug and tell the ones you love that you love them.