From my early age I couldn’t refer to the man who would be my step dad by his real name. His name was the name not to be spoken in front my father. According to my dad the man who took my mother away from him would be forever known as, The Ass.
I just found out that The Ass, has died.
You see when I was very young my mom left my dad for The Ass. I suppose there was a lot of animosity brewing over the years between my parents but I was 2 years old when their break up occurred so it might as well have been another lifetime for me. He was the opposite of my dad. My father is a workaholic. He still works two jobs this very day. I talk with him and see him but my time spent with him is like being on my very own time clock.
“Hi, dad,” punching in. “Bye, dad,” punching out.
The Ass on the other hand was athletic. He played football very well. Played golf well (no mistake he looked just like Arnold Palmer, he sure played like him.) And he enjoyed the outdoors. During my childhood with him and my early 20’s he showed me how to play sports, fish, snorkel, ski, golf and camp.
I remember he held the back of the seat of my bicycle as if it were a football and like a star running back ran down an open field he pushed me along. The soles of his white Reebok sneakers pounding the ground as the black tires of my bike smoothly sailed off as he let go and I was finally able to ride a bike without the training wheels.
The Ass got me, all of my brothers really, a job at the Inverrary Golf Course. The original home of, Jackie Gleason’s Honda Classic. We worked together, talked together and enjoyed our lunch together. We spent months perfecting my golf club grip. I had fun working there.
I was around when my mother talked to him on the phone when he was by his father’s bedside watching him die. My mom listened to the Preacher give last rites. I heard them cry. I was too young and dumb to understand his father’s death but I will never forget the car ride up to Titusville to help him pack his mom’s belongings who passed away years later. He told me the stories of growing up across from the rocket launch pads in the heyday of NASA when spaceflight was in its infancy. He boasted how he watched all the Apollo rockets make their way into space. “Hell, I didn’t even know they were having a launch one night until the rocket was lit and it shook me off the toilet seat.”
But it was his statement on our way home from his mom’s house that would have a profound affect on me for the rest of my life.
“It’s a weird feeling, Chris. When both your parents are dead. You see, when my parents were alive, no matter what happened in my life, I could always go home. And not necessarily live with them. Just go home and talk to them. Figure things out. But now all that is gone. I feel like an orphan.”
I moved on past his derogatory name, The ____ . On that day we were having Thanksgiving dinner. I asked my dad to come in and he said, “if your mom will have me, I will.” All of us had Thanksgiving dinner. My dad’s animosity went away.
But now that Edward has died I feel sad I did not have the closure with him so I could thank him for the things I learned about him and from him. Share with him the memories, like helping my study my spelling words. Explaining to me what having a Green Thumb meant by showing me how to cut the grass. or building my mom’s greenhouse. How to fish from the beach, jetties and piers. How he learned how to crab in the Chesapeake Bay and passed on the lessons of cooking and eating blue crabs.
About 6 months ago I searched for Edward, Ed, Ned, Eddie. But I could not find him. We found out about his death when his son found my sister on Facebook.
Life brings people together for one reason or another. Of course, they come and go and we pay no mind to the ones who left because we are all so caught up in our own lives to realize that time is fleeting and with every new day there’s a chance tomorrow will never come.
My experience is the perfect example on how us human beings take the miracle of life for granted.
I thought I would have time to find Edward and tell him everything that I just wrote. But that moment is gone. I must now deal with the regret of not telling him thanks for being, a dad. I assumed life would always give me the time for that. But this is not to be. Edward, thanks for being a dad to me.
I hope that rocket ship took you to your parents so you can feel at home again.
About The Author:
Christopher Fusaro is the writer behind The Adventures of Captain Imperfecto with a worldwide following. If you want to read more of his writings please go HERE. You can also follow him on Twitter and Facebook.
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