If you count the number of days from his birthday on February 20 to August 16 and then count the same number of days from my birthday on October 2, you arrive on March 28. My father was 55 when he died. I am 55.
March 28 will not a horrible moment for me. Emotional, yes. But I am not afraid of emotion. If I was, I would not be alive today. Emotion is proof of the human spirit.
I do see 1:44 p.m. as a new beginning. I will be at my father’s grave site when that minute arrives and when I leave his side that day I will stride back into the world knowing that now, more than ever, I will live life for the both of us. I live it to the best of my ability and with all the honesty and integrity and courage I have.
Lately I have been quietly reassessing all my involvements in life and identifying relationships and connections I have that, I believe, preclude me, or seek to preclude me, from being who I am. I have disengaged from some all ready and there may be more, I’m not sure Life is too precious and there is too much to do to get bogged down in wasted time. Too much beauty and wonder in the world to breathe and experience. Too much joy and love I don’t want to miss. Too many people I would like to help discover or rediscover their extraordinary value in the world.
My father was, is and forever will be the greatest gift life has ever given me. I believe he would be proud of me these days. I still do my best to stand up for those who are not always given a fair chance of standing up for themselves. I am not always well received or well liked for this, but let me tell you, if you are looking to be well liked, fighting for equal rights may not be your calling.
The 28th of this month belongs to me and my father. When I leave his side that day I will drive to Michael’s house in Brooklyn. There is no person in the world I love more and trust more than Michael. It is really that simple. We are proof that you don’t need to be blood related to be brothers, just like my father and I are proof that you don’t have to be related to be father and son. I can think of no better place to be on the 28th.
Let me leave you with this. A day or two after my father died I sat down and wrote this poem for him. It is the only thing I’ve written in all my years that I can recite.
In all times
And in all lives
There are moments
Filled with the sincerest
You and I have shared
Such moments and
I thank you
And love you
For those times