About two weeks ago, I got a text from my brother.  He asked me why I kept “Steve” anonymous in my book.  I told him I did it to protect myself — for both the fear of the actual person and the fear of a potential lawsuit.  Not that I ever thought he would read it or hear about it and not that anything I said was false but more to cover my bases.    

And then he told me that I had no reason to fear.  You know, since “Steve” has been dead for ten years. 

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Almost a year ago, I was challenged to tell my story, to help others as they deal with their own personal skeletons as I dealt with mine. 

Can I be very honest?  Those weeks and months were, at times, a living hell for me.  As I would sit down to work on a chapter or story, memories would flood me and I could almost feel myself back in the moment.  And they were usually not moments I wanted to walk back into.

Some days, I would carve out an hour, maybe when my youngest son was napping, to write.  Many times, after just a few minutes, I would end up in the fetal position, vowing to quit this “stupid dream” that was now causing me so much pain. 

I guess I had never really faced so many situations after the fact….that is, until I was writing about them and remembering every last nightmare.  Many of these nightmares involved “Steve.” 

During the process and upon completion of the book, I would go out for a run and confuse a passerby for “Steve” and suddenly feel sick to my stomach and quickly head for home.  I would wake up in the middle of the night, remembering more details about things I had hoped I could just forget altogether. 

Yet the day I heard that “Steve” had died at age 42 from congestive heart failure, I found myself both incredibly relieved and incredibly sad.  Weird, right? Relieved that I no longer had to worry if I’ll bump into him at the grocery store but sad because…well, because he was the only father figure I ever had, if only for six or so years. 

And maybe because I have no idea where he spends eternity.  Had you asked me fifteen years ago if I cared about “Steve” and his eternity, that answer would have been easy.  Nope.  Don’t care. 

But I’m not the same person that I was fifteen years ago.  And while I don’t think I ever wanted to see him again, I have this strange sadness inside of me that hopes he met Jesus before he died.  Because, in the end, it’s all that matters. 

Oh and, for the record, I don’t like serious posts.  Not my thing.