i just spent a good amount of time reading over my posts from the past several years and laughing about all the funny stories my kids told. i documented local disasters, accidents, and sad things too. i have decided to post the ordeal of my dad's death here (rather than facebook) since not many people read this blog anymore. it's more for me but feel free to read if you want.
Mel Sykes Jr. was my step dad but for the past 28 years he was much more a dad than my biological father (who I don't hate but don't have a very close relationship with either). Mel could have written a book about how to be a great step dad. I was a pre-teen when my mom and Mel got married so I was at the height of my puberty dramatic girl self. I was a total brat. Mel never ever at anytime acted like he was sorry that I was part of the package. He stuck with me and with love and patience he won me over.
It was after I got married and had kids that my relationship with my mom and Mel really grew. I spent a lot of time with them and they both helped me so much with both babies. We spent many Saturday mornings in the summer driving to garage sales. Mel loved to ride with me and the kids to Bloomington to Menards or Sam's Club (he loved to ride the scooter around with Jude and eat all the samples).
Mel was much more than just smart, he was wise. I relied on his opinion and really miss that the most. Many times over the last month, I have thought "oh, I need to ask Mel what he thinks about that" only to remember that I cannot have that conversation with him. I would get the Pantagraph on Sundays and do the first few (easy) answers of the crossword puzzle. Then I would give it to him, he would work the puzzle and leave a few for me to finish (usually the ones that involved a celebrity or song title). It was a joke that I would "have" to finish his puzzles. I have never known anyone as flat out smart and wise as he.
the door project:
A few paragraphs does not even come close to doing justice to the affect Mel had on my life. He loved doing projects, he would measure about 50 times and it would drive me crazy (because I would just eyeball something). He had to have everything perfect and I appreciated that when he did something, I knew it would be done right. The last project he was working on for me was a new front door. True to form, he took about 10 days just to get the door in place. He had to take out the original door, measure, measure, measure, put the door back on because it was late. Then repeat the process several days in a row. He leveled out the floor around the door, put in new insulation and jams and at last the new door was in. Now, to tackle the hardware. LOL, he had my uncle, my mom, and my aunt all standing around looking at it for an hour before he actually installed it. The lock was not working "smooth" so he spent another full day working on that. At last, perfect. He left all his tools sitting in front of the door until he could finish the molding and trim around the door. He was going on vacation and would finish it when he got back.