Thursday, February 16, 2012

The Father of Garfield Heights

The worst year of my life ends today as I reflect on the unexpected and painful loss of the XMan.

One year ago today, the XMan passed away from a heart attack in Hilton Head, S.C. Time got funky for me when I heard the news. For some incomprehensible reason, I vividly recall every detail of the hour before hearing the news and the hour after. Who knew the hour before would remain so vivid?

The good news about today's date is that my mother has succeeded with her first step to some sort of recovery: She has survived the year.

Yeah, I'm not very religious, but the majority of the members of the Snooze Button Generation aren't either. Most SBG members are "spiritual not religious." I guess I'm that.

This entire XMan fiasco has made me realize there is much more in the world than meets the eye. I do not exactly know what the heck is beyond the human mind and physical world, but something is there. We are limited as humans. Right?

Something else I've realized is that heaven exists.Heaven is being a 10-year-old boy with a 15-year-old brother, beating the heat of a humid Cleveland summer by hanging out in our basement and playing APBA baseball. At about 6 p.m., the XMan would come home, get out of a suit and have dinner with the family. We'd then play APBA, or other games, until we had to go to bed. I can hardly think of a better way to spend a day - or childhood.

For a long stretch of my youth, the XMan was practically "The Father of Garfield Heights." He was me and my friends' official quarterback in pickup football games. He coached our little league teams. If we were playing Yahtzee, he'd join in. My friends and I called my home, 9911 Garfield Drive, "The Establishment." It became a given that we'd have no more fun anywhere else.

Wow. The XMan has been gone a year. I have never had to go through anything close to as painful as this year. Yeah, I'm persevering through the days. I just hope I can be half the father he was to Sophie and Chloe.

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