The Greatest Man Who Lived

Mandy Guidry

When my mother married my stepfather I was 7 and my younger brother was 2. Our real father was very abusive toward our mother and our life with him was a constant struggle, so when we moved it was a relief in a way, but also upsetting. My stepfather (Jimmy) was the best thing that ever came into our lives. He had two children also from a previous marriage, and I was excited at the prospect of an olderbrother and sister. My real father was not around that much, so Jimmy was the only father I really knew. As I grew up I went through the typical teenage stages,which included screaming matches and arguments that never seemed to end. But through all of this my stepfather never treated me like anything but his daughter. There were times when I thought that he treated me better than he did his own children. When my stepsister got pregnant at 17, he was hurt and upset and refused to speak to her, so I became more his daughter than before. Jimmy was there for prom, graduation, braces glasses, broken hearts, a broken foot, and my first speeding ticket. And when he had to shell out money for all of this, he never once complained, or said that it wasn't his place. And my father was never one to pitch in and help at all. When in my teen years I finally spoke up about the sexual abuse that I had hidden from every one for so long, he came to me and gave me a hug and said I am so sorry and I promise that we will get through this as a family. He paid for the counseling that came after that. My real father never even knew about it.

My mother and Jimmy had had maritial problems that I think are typical for every one, but they decided to seperate and think things through. I swear this hurt me more than when she left my real dad. I was scared that I would never see him again. Two months after they had separated, they got together and talked about getting back together, later that night I was awaken at around 10pm to 5 police officers in my living room to tell me that my step father had been killed in a car accident. I literally felt my knees go weak and had to sit down. It wasn't until the day after the funeral that we found out that he had been killed by a drunk driver who was also a friend of my parents. My stepfather was the greatest man I have ever known.Many people have asked me what kind of man I am looking for and the answer is simple. I want someone like my daddy. How many men would take in two children and treat them as his own, sometimes working 3 to 4 days straight so that we would never want for anything. At his funeral there were people who commentedon me being his stepdaughter. Jimmy never introduced me as his stepdaughter, in his eyes I was his daughter and in my eyes he was my father. That first night at the funeral home when it was time for them to close for the night, I went up to his casket to say goodnight and the thought of leaving him there alone for the night terrified me. I asked my family for a moment alone and I just stood there and cried, like I had never cried before. I felt like crawling in the casket with him and never leaving. I can't even begin to explain that pain, or the way it felt to have to walk out those doors knowing that this was real.

The next couple of days were a nightmare. Not only did we have to deal with losing thiswonderful man, but my stepfamily actually blamed us for his death. They criticized my mother for leaving him, as if her pain wasn't enough. They said that the feelings we were having were not justifiable because he wasn't my blood father, but let me tell you something. It takes more than genetics to be a father. I am so blessed that I was able to see what a real father was like even if it was only for a short while. Things were not easy right after he died and I don't think they will ever be the same again. Many days all I could do was cry because I felt like my family was falling apart and there was nothing I could do about it. And then there were, and still are, days when I would give anything to feel that pain again, because I feel numb inside. But it has been 2 1/2 years since he died. I have now learned to thank God for the time that I had with him, not to be angry for the times I won't have. Like when I get married, or when I have children, or when my little sister gets married (my mother and him had a daughter together, my little sister Simone). I know that he loves me and is looking over me and I know that he is responsible for the blessing I have received lately. Just to share a story with you: My mother is a die hard believer in Sylvia Brown and in one episode she said that spirits were very electrical and they can turn things off and on especially lights. For the last 2 years my mother and I have noticed that the street light in front of our house will turn off and on when we are driving up or sitting outside. We have had the electric company come and look at it. They have checked thewiring and changed the bulb at least three times, and to this day the light will still blink when one of us leaves. Anytime I am driving in my car, I will notice at least one street light that goes out. Now I am sure this is a natural occurence, but I promise you my dad is letting me know that he is with me. Sylvia has also said that when you see a penny, someone you love has dropped it from heaven for you, and I swear every time my mom goes anywhere she will come home with a penny she found. Now it isn't like she is staring at the ground hunting for them. They just show up in the oddest places. I pick on her and tell her about the billions of people that throw their loose change on the ground, but she believes that my dad is sending her pennies to let her know that he loves her. I hope that that leaves someone with the comfort that it has given me. Also my radio turns itself off and on throught the day and night. That was kinda freaky, but I have gotten accustomed to it, and when it starts happening at night I just unplugged it.

Thank you for taking the time to hear my story.

I love you Daddy!

Mandy

Mandy Guidry



You can send email to Mandy Guidry at Mandy.Guidry@CardinalServices.Com

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Anniversary date - 5-22-98
Date of post - 12-13-00

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