Friday, October 20, 2006

A Day of Remembrance

This is not a particular jovial post. If it’s humor you want, read this one.

When I started writing this post, I originally wrote a scene setting up the event. But after I re-read it, it felt… well, not right. I don’t want to hash it out again. So instead I’m just going come out with it.

Today is the first anniversary of the day P.Pie’s father, Coach, lost his battle with cancer.

Coach’s first battle with cancer ended successfully with remission four years prior, but apparently the enemy was only regrouping.

Cancer brought out the big guns – leukemia.

New battle plans were drawn up, bunkers were fortified, and the troops were rallied. He was prepared for the struggle and we were patriotic.

A search for munitions began.

Fortunately one of Coach’s brothers was a bone marrow match, so they sent reinforcements to the frontlines. And he improved. But it didn’t last.

That is the way wars go. You take a hill, but you retreat somewhere else too.

And sometime you lose.

His four children swear he was the greatest father, cupboards of “World’s Greatest Dad” mugs seconding the motion, and I am happy to make it unanimous.

While I was not his flesh and blood, he treated me like one; giving me not only his youngest daughter, but also a roof over my head and food on my plate when I needed it. There was never a time when I couldn’t talk to him or ask him for something if I needed it.

Although I sometimes wondered about his judgment. After all, he not only let me through the front door of his home but he let me marry one of his offspring.

On many occasions, we did things together without the girls, P.Pie & her mother, The General.

We went to several LA Auto Shows, a few movies, watched football, drank beer and ate barbeque. If you were to graph our individual interests in a Venn Diagram, I guess you could call those thing the intersection.

I have two favorite Coach stories (I’ll spare you having to read both); when he wanted to buy a big screen TV, he took me along as a sounding board.

We drove down from Camarillo to Paul’s TV – King of the Big Screen (he is the king) in LaHabra. If you know LA, you know that’s a bit of a drive. We shot the shit on the way down – P.Pie and I were moving to Denver for a big promotion, money, and opportunity.

When we finally got there, we looked at approximately 1,000,000 big screens. A smarmy tv salesman showed us all the bells and whistles of at least half of them. We narrowed the selection down to three or four.

Coach turned to me and asked which one we should get. I told him it was a tough call, being that it wasn’t my money we were spending. So he changed tack and asked me which one I thought was the best.

Well that was easy – it was (of course) the most expensive one. But as Coach said, “If you buy the best, you won’t be disappointed down the road.” And he was right.

So it’s been one year and it’s been a year full of ups and downs.

As I dredge all this up again, I think about all the things I miss about not having Coach around and how sorry I am he’s gone.

But, I am most sorry the twins won’t ever get to meet him.

I thought about raging against the dying of the light, of being taken too young, of a life left unfinished, but I can't. I'm just too drained.

Instead, I'll jsut say this -

Coach, you sure are missed.