With such an abundance of nothing going on in my life, I've been looking for things to do. To that end, Inky and I rearranged our living room the other day. While we were at it I came across an envelope filled with pictures that had been living in our coffee table for the last few years, and the gem you see here was one of them.
I'm kind of a sap when it comes to the good old days, but even more so when it comes to my old man. I have lived my whole life with people telling me that I was his spitting image, and all I've ever wanted out of life was to be like him. Naturally, those feelings have only intensified in the nearly 7 years since his death. Plus, I have really had to grapple with how he would have felt about me getting laid off from my current job. He worked hard to be sure that his family lead a good life, and, by-and-large, we did. He was a thoughtful person, who tried his hardest to make life easier, happier and more rewarding for those around him. He was a complex man, who was always painfully aware that he only had a short time with which to make an impact.
This picture was taken on October 11th of 1997. The family had gatherd on the occasion of my brother Frank's commitment ceremony with his partner Mike. (note: I'm not that good a brother, I remember the date because Mike Mussina struck out 15 in game 3 of the ALCS and the Indians still managed to win 2-1 in 12 innings. Frank, Inky and I spent quite a bit of time watching the game throughout the reception on the tiny TV behind the bar) My brother was understandably nervous when he came out to Dad and I, as his father and brother, but Dad was great about it. And I think anyone who reads my blog would know that I love the gays.
So there we were, father and son, watching our son/brother commit himself to the person he loved most. In keeping with my family's style, everyone had a great time that night, and at one point a bunch of us ended up on a M-1 Abrams Tank, but that's another story for another day. I don't know just what was going on at the exact moment this photo was taken but I couldn't love it more. It's hard to tell from the look on his face, but Dad is just about to break out in his trademarked "big smile". My face is classic "Anthony is telling a story and may be fudging a few of the finer points to get a bigger laugh." Every time I look at this picture, I smile, and that's even before you account for the yellow lollipop in my hand and the mop of hair on my head.
That's the wonderful thing about memories of happy times; they can serve as a booster shot of happy in an otherwise gloomy time.