Thank you, Edgar

My stepfather Ed Barnett passed peacefully away at home a few hours ago. He was a good and honorable man and the only father I ever had. This is what I hope he took with him from me.

***

Dear Edgar,

I’ve been thinking a lot about how to tell you what you mean to me, how to express my gratitude for everything you’ve done for me, how to convey the impact you’ve had on my life, but words just don’t seem sufficient. So I’ve reflected about our actions over the years—yours and mine.

You are the only person I’ve ever had that I could honor on Father’s Day, and I hope you’ve felt my love for you each year.

You are the only man who has been there for me every single time I needed you, and if I haven’t said it plainly enough, thank you for each of countless instances.

You have made my mother very happy, and I am grateful for that.

You are the only man who has consistently believed in me despite all the reasons I’ve given you not to.

You have generously and freely given me opportunities I never would have had without you that have changed the course of my life and enriched it beyond measure.

More than anyone else, I sought to make you proud of me. I believe there have been occasions when I have, and they gave me tremendous joy and satisfaction.

I have known since I started writing my book that I would dedicate it to you. This is what it will say.

To Edgar,

for never once failing to offer me the tools I needed to make my dreams come true,
even when you didn’t agree with them.

Thank you for being my father.

You love me, and I love you, and these states of being speak for themselves.

Goodbye, Edgar. Thank you for coming into my life.

5 Comments on Thank you, Edgar

  1. Linda
    July 28, 2014 at 1:27 am

    That is beautiful. I am glad you had him for a father. My children also have a great stepfather. The ability to be a father has nothing to do with fathering children and everything to do with being a good man and a good example to children in your care. Being a parent is a great responsibility, the width and breadth of which can stagger many a person. The rewards of being a parent are immeasurable. I am glad you had each other.

    Reply
    • Jennifer
      July 28, 2014 at 1:35 am

      Thank you for your thoughtful post, Linda. I am glad we had him, too, and I am happy that you were fortunate enough to have an Ed in your life.

      Reply
  2. Shannon
    July 28, 2014 at 8:31 am

    Oh Jenny. Such a strange feeling I have to see that Ed passed. In reality I spent only a handful of hours with him physically in the 29 years since I met him, but through you, I feel like I spent my entire adult life with the man. I’m tearful here, feeling as though I’ve lost someone I knew well and who had an impact on me. It’s true what they say that sometimes you can actually feel a difference in the air when certain people’s lights pass on. Ed was a unique, multi/layered, opinionated, maddening, clever, funny, brilliant, loyal, committed, generous, kind, lovely, lovely man. I smile even now and will never forget the first time I met him and how he was always a force to be reckoned with. You and I have respectfully and affectionately laughed about what a strong character he is through the years. I genuinely learned some things about life from Ed at a young age-most importantly that even though it’s good for one to have strong, passionate feelings about things in life it’s even more impressive to be willing to keep an open mind and always be on the lookout for ways to learn. He was discerning about who he gave his approval and affection to and one always felt special if he bestowed it because of this. I loved Ed Barnett and I love that he loved you the way he did. I will genuinely miss him. My heart and love and true sympathy to you and to Mom. Hugs my darling and I will see you soon, Shannon

    Reply
  3. Cyrena Hight
    August 8, 2014 at 3:26 pm

    Very special words Jennifer!

    Reply
  4. Gogi
    August 10, 2015 at 11:28 am

    So tender and loving. You bring me to tears. I’m very glad he was a part of your life for so long. To Edgar.

    Reply

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