James W. Clark

James W. Clark and his family
James W. Clark and his family

This picture is from the day my dad, James W. Clark, married my mother on March 10, 1967. Although he was technically our stepfather, he accepted all three of us as his own biological children. There are people I've known  for 30 years who never knew Daddy was our stepfather.

I wrote this poem for him the day he died, January 5, 2013, from a pulmonary embolism. He was the only Daddy we ever knew. We will miss him forever.

I wish I had known it was the last time,
The last new year, birthday, Easter, Christmas, Halloween,
The last 4th of July.
I wish I had known it was the last kiss, last hug,
Last time you'd laugh with me.

But I'm so glad I knew
The first time you loved me, hugged me
Made me your daughter.
I'm glad you were there when others turned away.
You were my sustenance,
You were my strength
You were my protector
You were life.

I'm glad I was there
For the last "I love you,"For the last stroke of your hair,
For the last kiss on your forehead.

But mostly I'm glad to have known
The man I called Daddy.

And even had I known it was the last time,
Even with warning,
One more time
Would have never been enough.