Peter has always been my brother-in-law because I was adopted by his wife’s parents. He’s now my step dad, and I didn’t see that coming.  His deceased wife, Sandra, was my birth mother.

Thirty years later and he still talks to me in great detail about cars. Yet he knows full well I have no interest in them whatsoever.  I find that kind of selfish. But that is what I grew up with.

Truthfully, the man does not have one bad bone in his body. He can be rough around the edges, but his intentions are usually good. He always insists that I take a bag of fresh vegetables back to London when I visit him. He is proud of his garden produce and thinks it is far superior to the London supermarket fare.

Most importantly of all, he looked after the woman who gave birth to me.  Through thick and thin.  Through good times and bad. They had no support, nor did they ask for any.

Peter did nothing but his best. He is still devastated that his wife of thirty-three years is gone. Being a full-time caregiver for many years, he now has to learn to live in a new way. For the last ten years or so, he couldn’t leave Sandra for more than an hour. I can’t imagine that loss or how scary it must seem to now have to join the outside world.

Up until recent events, Peter and I didn’t really know each other that well. It is touching to be treated like a son, but it is an adjustment for both of us to make. We will get to know each other in a different way than before.

Sometimes I find this new relationship challenging. It can be a struggle to find the time to phone every day. It can be tiring going backwards and forwards on the train.

But then I remember what an incredible man Peter is.

You do not have to be academic, an inventor, a beautiful model, a hard-nosed entrepreneur, or a rich philanthropist to make a difference in the world. You just have to try your best. Do the best you can.

We can all make a difference. Peter made Sandra’s life the very best he could.

It’s not so hard to pick up the phone then. And listen to Peter talk about cars.