Wednesday, February 4, 2015


Dear Alishia and Tim,

How proud your father would have been to see his Celebration of Life. For all of us, it was a blatant reminder of the talents he possessed as well as the many changes and progressions he made in his life.

When living in Friedens, I often thought how fortunate you were to be raised by your father and your grandfather. I know coming from divorced parents was not easy for you nor was it easy for me to be a stepparent.

One thing I know with ALL certainty, this was the very best Christmas your father had because you called him and sent videos. He and I had agreed early in our relationship that whatever traditions etc that you had with your mom and her family would not be interrupted by us. He loved that you remembered to call him and he was Thrilled that the gifts he chose were well loved by your children.

My relationship with your father changed my life so much and I can only feel gratitude for the time we had together. Each year our marriage and friendship grew stronger and so losing him is so much more than I expected. In your family, I struggled in the role as stepparent and also as caregiver for Jim, my dad and my mom. I know I did not always do things well but I honestly tried in the best ways I knew how. Sometimes it was truly overwhelming to me. Your dad could always make things better when he knew I was struggling.

He and I could never compete with the monetary things your mom was capable of giving you. However, we both tried to instill in you a sense of trust and loyalty that should be in every marriage. I hope you both find the time to continue building those values in your own families.

I will never cease to be grateful for the time and relationship I had with your father. He was my partner, best friend and always believed in me. He accepted me for all that I am and all that I am not. I truly hope you know how much he meant to me and continues to mean to me every day.

If you feel you want to remain in contact with me, I am open to that. I do not want to interfere or interrupt your lives in any way. Your dad was happy here and although the time was too short, I think we were making a good start for our life in North Carolina. I was proud that your dad was open to the change.

I miss him with a heavy heart and I hope you will always feel his presence. Every day I look for signs or feelings that he is near me......I am sure he is watching out for you also.

Martha McKinley Murphy

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