Surely no Stepfather expects that they’re going to take over as the paternal role model in a family like stepping into a new job. It’s only over the course of years, where kids witness firsthand the positive growth and evolving character that is ‘Mum’, that a sliver of opportunity for a Stepdad to act as a mentor or guide in life is presented. It’s a fluid recovery, the relationship is ever-building, ever-evolving.
It wasn’t until Dave was in his late teenage years, that he started to see the benefits of having a robust and worldly character such as Alby, as his stepfather. One night, out with Dave and his friends, he stole the show, laughing muscles getting a full workout. Dave knew this was the beginning of a certain kind of crazy settling in. He describes Alby as a genuinely funny and generous guy, who lives each and every moment at maximum load and does not let illness get in the way of a good time.
Despite a ten-year health decline that started with a heart attack and took a wild turn after he was literally hit by a bus, he has cemented some firm but fun lessons in his life with his step kids and still remains the most lively octogenarian quadriplegic with dementia the world did see.
- Dave Ryan's story as told to Nat Power
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